Nashville, Tenn. (June 29, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Austin Watson to a two-year contract. The deal is a two-way contract in 2015-16 paying him $575,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, and a one-way, $575,000 contract in 2016-17.
Watson, 23 (1/13/92), 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 second consecutive season. He’s also ranked among the Top Three Admirals in points in each of his first three professional seasons. The 6-3, 206-pound native of Ann Arbor, Mich., has appeared in six NHL contests with Nashville, all during the 2012-13 campaign, scoring one goal.
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.