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Preds Place 4 in The Hockey News Future Watch Top-50

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Four Predators prospects were listed in the The Hockey News 2009 Future Watch Top-50, including 2008 First Round pick Colin Wilson at No. 4 overall. No other NHL team had more prospects in the top-50 than Nashville; Montreal also had four prospects listed in the top-50 and five teams had three prospects listed. As an organization the Predators prospects ranked 12th overall with a “B” grade, however Nashville’s +12 score in the publication’s leveling system (a comparison of team prospect ranking to the team’s average draft position over the past four drafts) is the fourth best score in the league.

Joining Wilson in the top-50 were Chet Pickard (No. 22), Jonathon Blum (No. 28), and Cody Franson (No. 50). Alexander Sulzer, Ryan Jones, Patric Hornqvist, Mike Santorelli, Teemu Laakso, and Nick Spaling rounded out Nashville’s top-10 prospects, according The Hockey News. Among the notable omissions from team’s top-10 include forward Cal O’Reilly, who ranks among the AHL’s scoring leaders and made his NHL debut on February 28 against Detroit, defenseman Roman Josi, Nashville’s second round pick in 2008, and goaltender Anders Lindback, who has taken the starting job on his Swedish Elite League team from The Hockey News No. 3 overall prospect Jacob Markstrom. Both Lindback and Markstrom were selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Columbus forward Nikita Filatov earned the No. 1 overall prospect ranking, while the LA Kings – with help from 21-and-under NHLers Anze Kopitar, Jack Johnson, Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller, and Wayne Simmonds – checked in as the No. 1 organization. Montreal goaltender Carey Price was the No. 1 prospect in last year’s Future’s Watch, while the Pittsburgh Penguins were the No. 1 organization – with then-21-and-under NHLers Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal.

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