With the 18th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Nashville Predators bloggers at On the Forecheck select...
Austin Watson, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
photo via OHL
On the surface, fortune has favored the mock Predators. At 6'3 and 187 pounds, Austin Watson could stand to add some bulk, but that will come with age - he's 17. Watson excels in the hard areas of the ice, never shying from a battle in the corner or taking a beating in front of the net. Watson is considered one of the top penalty killing and shot blocking prospects in the 2010 draft class, and projects to be a 60 point NHL scorer in the mold of Ryan Kesler. He wasn't given much of a chance to display his offensive talents while with Windsor (home of Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, and Zack Kassian), but the move to Peterborough (20 points in 10 games) brought out some tantalizing scoring and playmaking ability. Essentially, Austin Watson appears to be made for Nashville Predators hockey. His superb defensive ability and above-average scoring potential makes him one of the more 'can't-miss' prospects in the draft, particularly considering the system Barry Trotz employs.
Three more picks tomorrow.