Preds Sign Hornqvist to 3-Year Deal
Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 11:32 AM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
No surprise in today’s announcement on Hornqvist. All summer long it appeared as if it was only a matter of time before terms of a new deal were worked out. And once the salary arbitration settlements clarified the market, it seemed like the framework was established.
With Hornqvist “officially” back in tow, the Preds return their top three scorers from last season (Hornqvist, Steve Sullivan, and Martin Erat). And, as the franchise moves forward, the Preds have long-term stability up front. Hornqvist, along with Erat, newly signed free agent Matthew Lombardi (19 goals, 53 points for Phoenix last season), J-P Dumont (248 points during his first four years in Nashville), and David Legwand (the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs) are all top-end scoring threats under contract through the end of the 2011-12 season – saying nothing of Colin Wilson who made the jump from NCAA to NHL during his first pro campaign last year.
There’s been much conversation this summer about potential line combinations (see Tom Callahan’s Aug. 3 blog entry for some of his starting thoughts); today’s announcement only re-affirms Hornqvist will be right in the middle of the conversation. Hornqvist has been successful at every level he’s played – he broke Peter Forsberg’s record for goals by a rookie in the Swedish Elite League (earning Rookie of the Year honors), finished second at the World Championships in goals during the 2008 tournament, finished strong at the AHL level for Milwaukee in 08-09 (his first North American season), and scored 30 goals last season in the NHL.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Hornqvist, 23 (1/1/87), became the first Nashville draft pick to score 30 goals for the club, leading the team and registering the fourth highest total in franchise history in the category in 2009-10. The Sollentuna, Sweden native tied a franchise record and tied for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (8) last season and also led the club in power-play goals (10). In 2009-10, he also tied for the team lead in points (30g-21a-51pts) and set a franchise record for shots in a season (275).
Hornqvist experienced a 28-goal increase from 2008-09, making him just the second player in the last nine seasons to experience such an increase (minimum 20 games in the first season). The 5-11, 186-pound forward had the fewest NHL games experience (108) and the lowest average ice time (15:41) among the NHL’s Top-20 goal scorers in 2009-10. He posted five multi-goal games, tied for the third-highest single-season total in franchise history and paced all Nashville skaters in plus/minus rating (+18).
Nashville’s seventh choice, 230th overall (seventh round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Hornqvist is the ninth of 43 players selected with the final pick of an entry draft (modern era, since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is one of only three players picked last overall to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals. Hornqvist also skated in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, playing in all four games for his native Sweden.