Nashville Predators Draft History: Grading the Early Draft Classes

Sixth overall draft pick Scottie Upshall, selected by the Nashville Predators (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images/NHLI)
Sixth overall draft pick Scottie Upshall, selected by the Nashville Predators (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images/NHLI) /
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1999 and 2000 Drafts: Lots of swings and misses

After that 1998 season, fans were just happy to have a hockey team in Nashville. Quite frankly, the team was fun to watch despite not much talent and a fanbase that didn’t know what icing was yet.

However, the next couple drafts were largely unsuccessful.

Let’s start with the positive. In 1999, the Predators had a boatload of picks to try to get the team more competitive. They whiffed on almost all of them, but did get Martin Erat all the way in the seventh round!

Ask the casual fan what round Erat was taken and be very impressed if they know how far back he was chosen. He went on to be a mainstay on the Predators roster and finished with 481 points in his 11-year career with the team.

Erat remains second on the franchise’s all-time list in points, with Roman Josi closing in fast.

The following draft in 2000, the Predators also missed on a lot of selections, but somewhat atoned for it with their sixth-overall pick of Scott Hartnell. A fan-favorite who is still missed and considered one of the more popular players in team history.

I’m not going to name every bad selection in these two drafts, with many of them never even making it to the NHL, but let’s start with 1999 and the Predators blowing their sixth-overall pick on Brian Finley and the second-round pick on Jonas Andersson.

Those players combined for 13 career NHL games.

Predators get another slightly passing, but mediocre grade because they landed Erat and Hartnell.

1999/2000 Draft grades: C-