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Flashback: The 2003 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville

Wednesday, 11.28.2007 / 4:11 PM CT / 10th Anniversary
Nashville Predators
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Flashback: The 2003 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville
June 21-22, 2003

This coming summer, the NHL Entry Draft takes place at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.  Five summers ago, the hockey world convened in Nashville during the third weekend in June for the annual NHL Entry Draft.  Over 13,000 fans attended the two-day event which had an estimated economic impact of nearly $10 million on Middle Tennessee.

“Every hockey person I have ever talked to has said Nashville was their favorite draft because of the hospitality we had, in addition to the preparation and professionalism of the organization,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said. “It doesn’t hurt that the downtown area is so fun and encompassing for people to come and take in.”

Besides the memorable backdrop that Music City provided, the 2003 Draft looks to have offered one of the deepest talent pools in recent history.  The Predators took full advantage.  Nashville made 13 picks overall, including eight of the first 98 players selected, and took the opportunity to bolster the organizational blue line drafting defensemen Ryan Suter, Kevin Klein and Shea Weber.

Other great young talents drafted in Music City in 2003 that are now lighting up the NHL include Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Steve Bernier (San Jose), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles), Brent Burns (Minnesota), Matt Carle (San Jose), Jeff Carter (Philadelphia), Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), Nathan Horton (Florida), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), Milan Michalek (San Jose), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Corey Perry (Anaheim), Dion Phaneuf (Calgary), Mike Richards (Philadelphia), Brent Seabrook (Chicago), Eric Staal (Carolina), Lee Stempniak (St. Louis), Thomas Vanek (Buffalo) and Nikolai Zherdev (Columbus).

“The 2003 Draft in Nashville was such a high; going up there in the first round and being welcomed by the hometown fans was incredible, especially since it was the first time I had run an amateur draft,” Fenton said. “It was both nerve-wracking and fulfilling because we made our mark in the scouting world that year by drafting the players we were able to.”
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 56 11 31 0 42
F. Forsberg 56 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 56 15 21 -2 36
M. Ribeiro 56 6 30 3 36
J. Neal 56 21 14 19 35
M. Ekholm 56 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 55 6 16 2 22
C. Jarnkrok 55 11 8 2 19
C. Smith 56 11 7 -1 18
R. Johansen 16 4 12 6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 6 2 1 .924 2.10