Martin Erat (2001-2002)
As the Predators were starting to build a foundation into being a playoff contender, their roster was really getting some young talent to fuel the growth.
Martin Erat turned out to be an outstanding 7th-round draft pick for the Nashville Predators. In his rookie season he played in 80 games, which would set a new rookie record for the young franchise.
It was apparent rather quickly that Erat was an intelligent player on the ice that could make things happen for his linemates both as a distributor and as a scorer.
Erat put up an impressive 24 assists in his rookie campaign, while also setting a franchise rookie record in that category. He finished 5th on the team in assists that season as the Predators finished 4th in the Central Division and won 28 games.
It took patience to finally see the Predators become a legit playoff contender, but Erat was certainly one of those early players that played a vital role in growing as a franchise.