Preds Acquire 4th Round Pick From Phoenix
Friday, 10.28.2011 / 4:30 PM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
- Send forward Cal O’Reilly to the Coyotes -
|Today’s trade speaks to the development of the young forwards in the Preds system. At this point last season O’Reilly was the most-NHL ready young center in the system – and he took advantage of the opportunity to post 18 points in 38 games before suffering a season-ending injury on January 2 against Columbus. In O’Reilly’s absence, both Blake Geoffrion and Chris Mueller emerged as NHL-ready talents. Geoffrion flourished as a regular through the Preds playoff run last season and has carried that regular ice time at the start of this year; Mueller has performed at an AHL All-Star level in Milwaukee, while inspiring confidence from Coach Trotz and staff during his injury call-ups to the Preds. Craig Smith’s development has also squeezed O’Reilly’s role. Smith’s path to the NHL skyrocketed with a great season at Wisconsin last year carrying into a strong showing at the World Championships and continuing into this season where he was the talk of Training Camp with the Preds. Smith has been one of the NHL’s best stories eight points through nine games --- just one point behind 2011 No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the NHL rookie lead.
With Mike Fisher back in the lineup, Martin Erat perhaps returning to the lineup tomorrow and the coaching staff gaining increased confidence in newcomers Niclas Bergfors and Brian McGrattan, it was increasingly more difficult to find opportunities for O’Reilly. Rather than risk losing him through waivers, the Preds were able to maximize a return and recoup a solid draft pick, while still knowing there’s enough organizational depth at the position to cover current and future needs.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
The Predators now have nine draft picks for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to be held June 22-23, 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. – their own picks in the first, second and fourth through seventh rounds in addition Toronto’s third-round pick and the New York Rangers’ sixth-round selection, and now, Phoenix’s fourth-round selection.
The Nashville Predators wind down a three-game home stand tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks (7 p.m. on 102.5 The Game), closing out the week with Halloween in Smashville. Fans in attendance are encouraged to dress in costume and come out early to enjoy a ghoulish plaza party including costume karaoke, reverse trick-or-treating and fall-themed games. Tomorrow night is also a McDonald’s Family Four Pack night, where fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks starting at only $99. Visit nashvillepredators.com/mcdonalds to purchase. Limited tickets are still available for tomorrow night. To purchase tickets, visit nashvillepredators.com, ticketmaster.com or call 615-770-PUCK (7825).