Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has reassigned goaltenders Chet Pickard
(Tri-City, WHL) and Jeremy Smith
(Plymouth, OHL) to their respective junior clubs. Additionally, forward Brandon Buck, who was in camp on an amateur tryout agreement, was released and will return to his junior team (Guelph, OHL).
Pickard, a First Round selection in the 2008 Entry Draft, was appearing in his first NHL Training Camp. He played one period in both of the team's Rookie Games against the Atlanta Thrashers rookies earlier in the week, surrendering one goal and one shoot goal. Pickard was named the WHL's Goaltender of the Year in 2007-08 and is expected to be the starting netminder for the Tri-Cities Americans again this season. He is also projected by many to be the starting goaltender for Team Canada in this year's World Junior Championships.
Smith, a Second Round selection in the 2007 Entry Draft, was making his second appearance at Preds Training Camp. He also played one period in both of the team's Rookie Games against Atlanta, surrendering two goals -- both in his first appearance. He was the starting netminder for Plymouth in the OHL last season and is expected to to play the same role this season. He also started for Team USA at last year's World Junior Championships and is expected to play for Team USA again this year.
With the roster moves, the Predators have four goaltenders remaining in Training Camp: Mark Dekanich, Dan Ellis, Drew MacIntyre, and Pekka Rinne