6/25-26 - NHL Entry Draft, Los Angeles, CA - Preds select 4 F and 2 D overall
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06-27-2010, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by
Just about every first round selection has some press saying their a huge sleeper and a great pick, so I take all the draft media stuff with a grain of salt. There are people who do this for the full time job, and it's still a huge unknown who's going to pan out in NHL. You're drafting 18 year olds playing in tons of different leagues, tons of countries, against varying levels of competition. I've given up on trying to figure out what they're going to do. We've got no choice but to wait it out and see what happens.
Actually, one of the top tools scouts use for picks is international tournaments where the top players from each age group play against each other and are graded against each other.
Watson excelled as a member of the US 18u team as a shutdown forward, which is a role we all know he is adept at and where he had been being used at in juniors. Austin has been invited to the US WJC tryout camp this summer and will likely make the roster.
My hope is that over the summer we'll see his raw offensive skills at prospect camp and he will return to juniors with more confidence and blossom in a larger offensive role next season. He did after all score 9 goals and 11 assists in 10 games to close out the regular season last year and added 2 goals in the playoffs.
I think Watson has a very high probability of turning into a goal-scoring power forward if given time and opportunity to develop that side of his game. What he will become is anyone's guess, but this is not a kid that needs to be taught how to play defense or how to add detail to his game. He has already excelled there and if given a good chance to show his offensive game...he'll succeed there too...
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