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The Hockey News Tabs Cody Franson as Preds Top Prospect

Friday, 03.7.2008 / 8:17 PM CT / News
By Press Release  - Nashville Predators
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The Hockey News Tabs Cody Franson as Preds Top Prospect
Defenseman Cody Franson was ranked the Predators top prospect in The Hockey News Future Watch 2008 issue, which was released this week. Franson and fellow defenseman Jon Blum were both placed among the publications Top-50 prospects and the organization finished with a team ranking of 15th among the league's 30 teams. However, the Predators did receive a +9 score in the publication's leveling system (a comparison of the team prospect ranking to the team's average draft position over the past four drafts), the sixth best score in the league.

The Hockey News listed Franson as the No. 33 prospect league-wide. Franson, in his first pro season, has scored 11 goals and 31 points in 61 games for Nashville's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. Blum, Nashville's first round pick in last summer's entry draft, checked in at No. 48 league-wide. The Predators just missed out on a third prospect in the Top-50 with goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was ranked No. 52.

The publication rated defenseman Alexander Sulzer as the organization's fourth-best prospect and forward Patric Hornqvist the fifth-best. Teemu Laakso, Antti Pihlstrom, Mike Santorelli, Jeremy Smith, and Nick Spaling, rounded out the team's top-10, according to The Hockey News.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price earned the No. 1 overall prospect ranking, while the Pittburgh Penguins, despite not placing a prospect on the Top-50 list, checked in at the No. 1 organization on the strength of 21-and-under NHL stars Sidney Crosby (20), Evgeni Malkin (21), and Jordan Staal (19).

Only six clubs placed more prospects inside the top-50 than the Predators, five with three prospects in the top-50 and Columbus Blue Jackets with four in the top-50, though the Blue Jackets did earn a –2 score by The Hockey News leveling system.

With three members of the 2007 Entry Draft already cracking the team's top-10 prospect list – not including '07 fourth round pick Mark Santorelli who currently ranks second in the Western Hockey League with 93 points – and four picks in the first two rounds of this summer's NHL Entry Draft, the Predators are well situated to rank even higher in next year's rankings.

For more on The Hockey News Future Watch 2008, check out thehockeynews.com.
For a more complete Predators Prospect Update, click here.
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