In conjunction with the Nashville Predators 15th Anniversary celebration and the 2013 NHL Entry Draft this coming weekend in Newark, N.J., each day we take a look back at the Top 15 draftees throughout the club’s history.
The Top 15 draftees will be in chronological order.
Martin Erat, LW
No. 191, 1999
Zlin Jr. (Czech. Rep)
The Predators used their 12th pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft on Czech Republic’s Martin Erat. Prior to joining the Predators, Erat honed his North American game with Saskatoon and Red Deer of the Western Hockey League, winning the WHL Championship and the Memorial Cup with Red Deer in 2001. Erat and the Czech Republic also took home gold at the 2001 World Junior Championships.
Erat joined arrived in Music City prior to the 2001-02 season, and made a splash in his rookie campaign as a member of the "vowel line" which consisted himself, Vladimír Orszagh and Denis Arkhipov. The Trebic, Czech Republic native set rookie records for games played (80) and assists (24).
In 11 seasons with Nashville, Erat pulled on a Preds sweater 723 times before being traded to Washington on April 3, 2013, of this year – the deal that brought forward Filip Forsberg to Nashville. Erat ranks second all-time in goals (163), assists (318), points (481) and games played.
Scott Hartnell, LW
No. 6, 2000
Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Selected sixth overall in 2000, Hartnell remains youngest player to play a game for Nashville, taking the ice for the first time at 18 years, 172 days. He was also the youngest player in the NHL during his rookie campaign in 2000–01.
In the 2005–06 NHL season, Hartnell, a fan favorite, posted a career-high 48 points, including his first 20-goal season.
In six seasons with the Preds, the Regina, Sask., native, played in 453 games, compiling 93 goals and 118 assists.
Dan Hamhuis, D
No. 12, 2001
Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Nashville selected Dan Hamhuis with the 12th pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Following the draft, Hamhuis returned to the WHL and compiled 60 points (10g-50a) in 59 games for Prince George. At the end of the campaign, he was awarded the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy, Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL's best defenseman and player of the year, respectively. Hamhuis was also named the CHL Defenseman of the Year and appointed to the WHL and CHL First All-Star teams.
Following his standout season in the WHL, Hamhuis joined the Milwaukee Admirals before making his NHL debut in 2003-04. Late in his rookie campaign, Hamhuis recorded a five-point night (1g-4a) in a 9–4 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 2004. Those marks still stand as the most points posted by a rookie, and most points by a Preds defenseman in a single game. He finished the season with seven goals and 26 points over 82 games.
In 483 games in a Preds sweater, the Smithers, B.C., native posted 161 points (32g-129a) and 375 penalty minutes.
Click here to see: Part 1