Nashville Predators Re-Sign Austin Watson

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 04: Austin Watson #51 of the Nashville Predators during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 4, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators re-sign winger Austin Watson to a three-year contract worth $4.5 million, or $ 1.5 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2022-23 season.

Austin Watson Re-Signs With the Predators

Over his six-year NHL career, Watson had remained loyal to the Predators, who drafted the 27-year-old in the first round, 18th overall of the 2010 NHL draft. In return, he has put up 31 goals and 34 assists for 64 career points in 264 career games.

This season is a slow start, currently only scoring one goal and one assist for two points. He also adds seven minutes in penalties. His possession numbers are 48.5 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -5.4.

On questioned on his re-signing Watson expressed his desire to put the past behind him and enthusiasm for the team was clear.

“My family and I love Nashville and are excited to continue to be a part of this organization,” Watson said. “I am grateful for the support provided to us by the Nashville Predators, my teammates and the entire city of Nashville, and am excited to continue to move forward with the franchise in our pursuit of the Stanley Cup.”

What This Means for the Future

This contract extension is a reward for Watson’s hard work on the Ice. He currently leads the team in hits and leads all teams in block shots. Despite the off-the-ice controversy, the Nashville predators see Watson’s attitude and willingness to put the body on the line for his teammates as a valuable asset. Even though the price for that is high. With a roster place to fill and contracts pending next season, this re-signing takes a substantial amount of cap space for the future, for a 4th liner. Is it worth the expense for what some consider a mediocre bottom-six forward? Watson will have to prove skeptics wrong. The length could play into being the issue here.

The Predators have proved formidable on a whole in the last few seasons and even made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016-17. It is obvious Nashville wants to combine heart and passion with the ample skillset on the team. If they continue on the current form, the Preds have a genuine shot again this season.

The Predators play the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

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