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Predators tab a goalie, two defensemen and two forwards on Day 2 of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators filled out a balanced draft class on Day 2 of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, selecting two defensemen, a pair of forwards and a goaltender. After making five trades, which included picking up a pair of seventh round picks in addition to trading two 2008 fourth rounders for picks in the same round at next year’s draft, Nashville finished the two-day process with three forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders. (  2008 Entry Draft Day 2 - Jeff Kealty )

The Predators started Day 2 of the 2008 Entry Draft the same way it kicked off the event on Friday night – with a trade. The Predators acquired the 38th pick from Phoenix for picks No. 46 (second round) and 76 (third round). With its third selection, Nashville then tabbed Roman Josi, a 6-1, 183-pound defenseman from Bern of the Swiss League.

"Roman gained valuable experience and confidence playing regularly with Bern, a top team in the senior Swiss league,” said Central Scouting in its Final Rankings. “He is a good playmaking defenseman with good decision making ability and an ability to make tape-to-tape passes.”

The sixth-rated European Skater by CSS, Josi compares himself to versatile NHLer Mark Streit, who posted 62 points (13g-49a) in 81 games for Montreal in 2007-08. Playing for his hometown team of Bern in 2007-08, Josi notched eight points (2g-6a) in 35 games and represented his nation at both the 2008 World Junior Championships and the 2008 Under-18 World Championships, posting five points (1g-4a).

The Predators chose to trade away both of their fourth rounders, picking up two seventh-round picks later in the day in addition to a pair of fourth-round selections in 2009: the 106th selection went to San Jose for pick No. 207 (seventh round) and a fourth-round selection in 2009 (originally Toronto’s pick), and pick No. 111 (acquired for Chris Mason) went back to the New York Rangers (originally the Rangers’ pick, acquired through St. Louis) for pick No. 201 and the Rangers’ fourth rounder in 2009.

With its second pick of Day 2 in the fifth round, Nashville claimed forward Taylor Stefishen. A 5-11, 170-pound left wing, Stefishen spent the 2007-08 season with the Langley Chiefs of the BCHL, where he posted 81 points (33g-48a) in 57 games. The North Vancouver, B.C., native has signed a letter of intent to play for Ohio State University in 2008-09.

"He has an overall good skill set with good puck-handling skills,” NHL Central Scouting's Blair Macdonald said. “He is a good skater with good vision."

The Predators chose defenseman Jeffrey Foss of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC) with their sixth-round pick, the third college or college-bound player chosen by the club in their first five selections. Foss, who hails from Morehead, Minn., appeared in all 38 of RPI’s games as a freshman in 2007-08, posting four points (1g-3a) and 28 penalty minutes.

Nashville took a pair of Scandinavians with its two seventh rounds, claiming Finnish center Jani Lajunen 201st overall and Swedish goalie Anders Lindback with pick No. 207. Lajunen has played the past two seasons with the Espoo Blues Junior team, a club that also produced current Preds prospect Antti Pihlstrom. The 6-1, 174-pound pivot posted 14 points (4g-10a) in 25 games in 2007-08. Lindback, the third-rated European goaltender, split time between Brynas of the Swedish Elite League and Almtuna of Sweden’s second division in 2007-08. The 6-6, 198-pounder finished third among junior goaltenders in the second division with a 3.07 goals-against average.

Through trades from this weekend’s proceedings, Nashville now holds 11 selections in next summer’s 2009 Entry Draft in Montreal.

The Nashville Predators’ top prospects are expected to participate in the club’s 2008 Developmental Camp, opening on Tuesday, June 24 at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tenn.  Off-ice testing begins on Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 a.m., and the first on-ice session is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 26.

The complete list of Nashville's 2008 draft selections follows:
Round Overall Name Position Team
1 7 Colin Wilson C Boston University (H-East)
1 18 Chet Pickard G Tri-City (WHL)
2 38 Roman Josi D Bern (Switzerland)
5 136 Taylor Stefishen LW Langley (BCHL)
6 166 Jeffrey Foss D RPI (ECAC)
7 201 Jani Lajunen C Espoo Jr. (Finland-Jr)
7 207 Anders Lindback G Brynas (Sweden)

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