Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2017) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year, $3.3 million contract that will pay him $1 million in 2017-18, $1.1 million in 2018-19 and $1.2 million in 2019-20.
Watson, 25 (1/13/92), set career highs in goals (5), assists (7), points (12), penalty minutes (99) and games played (77) during the 2016-17 season as he established himself as an integral member of the Nashville roster. The 6-foot-4, 204-pound winger then added four goals and nine points in 22 postseason contests as the Predators advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Watson also appeared in 57 games for the Predators during the 2015-16 season, recording three goals and 10 points.
Previously, the native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, led Milwaukee and tied for 14th in the American Hockey League in goals (26) in 2014-15, in addition to tying for second among all AHL skaters in game-winning goals (8) while appearing in all 76 regular-season games for the Admirals.
Nashville's first choice, 18th overall (first round), in the 2010 Entry Draft, Watson won a pair of Ontario Hockey League titles with Windsor in 2009 and London in 2012 and the 2009 Memorial Cup during his junior career. He was the recipient of the 2012 Wayne Gretzky 99 Award presented to playoff MVP and helped London advance to overtime of the 2012 Memorial Cup title game, earning a spot on the tournament All-Star Team. The oldest of 10 children, Watson led the United States in points and assists at the 2012 World Junior Championship, and helped Team USA win gold at the 2010 U-18 World Championship.