The Nashville Predators
on Wednesday signed their 2010 first-round pick Austin Watson
to a three-year entry level contract. Watson will spend the remainder duration of the 2010-11 season with Milwaukee of the AHL on an Amateur Tryout Agreement.
Watson, 19, completed his third Ontario Hockey League season in 2010-11, posting 34 goals and 68 points in 68 games with the Peterborough Petes. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native tied for the team lead in goals, and ranked second on the Petes in points.
"The second half of the season he really played well," Poile said of Watson who was chosen with the 18th pick last June. "He played in all situations and produced in all situations. Not only was he a strong defensive forward killing penalties and blocking shots – things we liked in his draft year – but he produced some very good numbers offensively. All-in-all, it was really good progress for his year for Austin."
Watson has participated in the past two USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camps, and in 2010, helped the United States win gold at the U-18 World Championships, posting three points (1g-2a) and 33 penalty minutes in seven games.