Preds Wrap Up the Draft
Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 1:15 PM
The Preds wrapped up their 2011 draft with three picks -- one defenseman and two forwards -- and a trade during the final three rounds of the draft.
In the fifth round the Preds selected Swedish defenseman Simon Karlsson. The Preds European scouts have a knack for unearthing hidden gems in the later rounds. Karlsson went through a major growth spurt over the last 12 months, growing from around 5-11 to 6-3. Swedish scout Lucas Bergman compares his game to current Preds defenseman Cody Franson and as he grows into his now 6-3 frame, Bergman thinks Karlsson can become a special player.
In the sixth round the Preds tabbed U.S. forward Chasen Balisy from Western Michigan University. Balisy's Jeff Blashill said, "Chase has an elite mind for the game. I think his hockey smarts and his hockey IQ are outstanding. I thought that he had gotten stronger and quicker over the course of the season. That added strength and quickness allowed Chase to be a real elite freshman. And I think as he continues to add that strength and quickness, it will allow him to be an elite player in college and have a great chance at becoming an NHL player."
The Preds traded their second sixth round pick to the NY Rangers for a 2012 sixth rounder. And then in the seventh round, Nashville selected 6-2, 200-pound forward Brent Andrews of the QMJHL. Regarded as one of the QMJHL's best faceoff aces and toughest defensive centers, Andrews turned heads with his solid two-way performances for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championships. He was on a below average Halifax team, so his stats are not indicative of the on-ice level he provided for the Mooseheads.
Check back later today for more recap and reaction from the draft floor.