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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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00