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Predators pick up five at 2006 draft

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Predators 2006 Entry Draft Selections

Blake Geoffrion - Round 2 (56th overall)
Left wing, U.S. National Development Program

Niko Snellman - Round 4 (105th overall)
Left wing, Ilves Jr. (Finland-Jr.)

Mark Dekanich - Round 5 (146th overall)
Goaltender, Colgate University (ECAC)

Ryan Flynn - Round 6 (176th overall)
Right wing, U.S. National Development Program

Viktor Sjodin - Round 7 (206th overall)
Right wing, Vasteras Jr. (Sweden-Jr.)

Vancouver, B.C. (June 24, 2006) - The Nashville Predators selected Brentwood, Tenn. native Blake Geoffrion (JEHF-ree-ohn) of the United States National Development program first among the five players the club selected in Saturday's 2006 NHL Entry Draft at Vancouver's GM Place.

Without a first-round selection for the first time in franchise history, the Predators used their second-round pick (No. 56) to draft Geoffrion.  The 18-year-old (2/3/88) posted 34 points (17-17a) in 46 games this past season and won a gold medal with the American entry at the 2006 U-18 World Championships.  A 6-1, 190-pound power forward, he will attend the University of Wisconsin this fall.

Geoffrion is the first Nashville native to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft and has taken the first step towards becoming a fourth-generation NHL player.  His father, Danny, played two NHL seasons while his late grandfather Bernie ("Boom Boom") and great grandfather Howie Morenz are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

With the club's next selection, the 105th pick overall (fourth round), Nashville chose forward Niko Snellman (NEEKO SNEHL-mehn) from Ilves Jr. (Finland-Jr.).  Snellman, 18 (3/12/88), is listed at 6-1 and 191 pounds and he posted eight points (4g-4a) in 23 games in 2005-06.

The Predators used their fifth-round selection (No. 146) to draft goaltender Mark Dekanich (DECK-kuh-nitch) from Colgate University (ECAC).  The 20-year-old (5/10/86) netminder posted a record of 18-11-6 with four shutouts and a 2.29 goals-against average in 36 games for the Red Raiders this past season.

In the sixth round (No. 176), Nashville drafted a second member of the U.S. National Development Program, 6-2, 212-pound right wing Ryan Flynn.  The 18-year-old (3/22/88) St. Paul, Minn. native notched 29 points (13g-16a) and 69 penalty minutes in 51 games this past season.  Flynn will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall.

Nashville selected 6-0, 207-pound Swedish forward Viktor Sjodin (sho-DEEN) with its final selection of the day, the 206th overall pick (seventh round).  Sjodin, 18 (4/21/88), posted 17 points (12g-5a) and 79 penalty minutes in 31 games for Vasteras Jr. in the Swedish junior league in 2005-06.

Among the Predators' 2006 draft class are four forwards and one goaltender. Two selections hail from the United States, while there is one each from Canada, Finland and Sweden. The Predators drafted four 18-year-olds and one 20-year-old.

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