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The Nashville Predators Top 15 All-Time Draft Picks: Part 4

Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 1:00 PM CT / Features
By Jimi Russell  - Nashville Predators
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The Nashville Predators Top 15 All-Time Draft Picks: Part 4

In conjunction with the Nashville Predators 15th Anniversary celebration and the 2013 NHL Entry Draft this coming weekend in Newark, N.J., each day we take a look back at the Top 15 draftees throughout the club’s history.

The Top 15 draftees will be in chronological order.

Shea Weber, D
No. 49, 2003
Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Nashville’s run on defensemen continued with the selection of defenseman Shea Weber – he was the third of six defenseman taken during the 2003 Entry Draft. Weber returned to the WHL after the draft and recorded 32 points (12g-20a) in his second season with Kelowna. In the 2004 WHL playoffs, Weber posted 17 points (3g-14a) in 17 games helping the Rockets to the 2004 Memorial Cup. Weber was named to the tournament all-star team after recording four points in four games as the Rockets defeated the Gatineau Olympiques to win their first Memorial Cup.

Following his successful junior career, Weber reported to the Milwaukee Admirals for the 2005-06 season, but eventually split time between Milwaukee (46gp) and Nashville (28gp). Weber made his NHL debut on Jan. 6, 2006, against Detroit. Three months later, on April 6, 2006, he scored his first NHL goal against Reinhard Divis of the St. Louis Blues in a 3-0 Nashville victory.

Following a standout season in 2008-09, Weber began to establish himself as one of the League’s premier defenseman, including back-to-back seasons as a Norris Trophy finalist in 2010-11 and 2011-12, where he finished second in voting, and three consecutive All-Star Game selections, becoming the first Predators draftee to attend three All-Star Games. On July 8, 2010, Weber was named the fifth captain in Nashville Predators history, becoming the youngest captain in franchise history and the first home-grown captain.

The Sicamous, B.C., native ranks first on the franchise’s all-time goals (108) and game-winning goals (17) by a defenseman list, and is second only to Kimmo Timonen in points by a Nashville blueliner (291). Weber is also Nashville’s all-time leader in power-play goals (49), and is third on the franchise’s goals list and fourth in points.

Pekka Rinne, G
No. 258, 2004
Karpat Oulu (SM-Liiga)

The Preds European scouts would arrive early to watch a back-up goalie play in warm-ups, but the extra work paid off when Pekka Rinne was selected with Nashville’s second-to-last pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Rinne had served as Niklas Backstrom’s back-up during his time in Karpat, playing in just 22 games over three seasons prior to being drafted.

Rinne was signed in August of 2005 and arrived in North America for the 2005-06 season. During his first season in Milwaukee, Rinne backstopped Milwaukee to the AHL Calder Cup Finals with 10 postseason wins and three shutouts. He also made two appearances in Nashville, earning a win in his NHL debut on Dec. 15, 2005.

Since Rinne becoming a full-time NHLer in 2008-09, Rinne leads all NHL netminders in shutouts (30), is ranked fifth in save percentage (.919), sixth in wins (152) and tied for seventh in goals-against average (2.36). The Kempele, Finland native is the franchise all-time record holder in career shutouts (30), goals-against average (2.36) and save percentage (.920), and is just eight wins shy of surpassing Tomas Vokoun for the club’s all-time wins mark (153; Vokoun, 161). He is the franchise’s all-time playoff leader in games played (28), wins (13) and goals-against average (2.41).

The 6-5, 217-pound goaltender posted a career year in 2011-12, after signing a seven-year, $49 million contract on his birthday (Nov. 3). He led the NHL and set a franchise records in wins (43), shots faced (2,153) and saves (1,987) and tied for the League lead and set the franchise record, in addition to setting a career high in games played (73). Rinne set a franchise record with 11 consecutive wins between Jan. 7-Feb. 4, equaling the longest single-season winning streaks by an NHL goaltender since 1998-99. Rinne recorded five assists in 2011-12, joining Martin Brodeur as the only goaltenders since 1993-94 to lead the league in wins and points in the same season. Rinne finished the 2011-12 season as Vezina Trophy finalist as the League’s top netminder – he would finish third in Vezina voting. Rinne also received the seventh-most votes for the Hart Trophy as League MVP.

Patric Hornqvist, RW
No. 230, 2005
Djurgarden (SEL)

With the final pick of the 2005 NHL Entry, Nashville picked Mr. Irrelevant, Patric Hornqvist. After being drafted in 2005, Hornqvist went on to complete a successful career in Sweden’s top league. He was named the Swedish Elite League’s Rookie of the Year in 2006-07 after leading junior players with 23 goals. Hornvist’s 23 goals broke a record previously held by Peter Forsberg for most goals by a junior player in Elite League history.

In his first full NHL season in 2009-10, Hornqvist became the first Predators draftee to score at least 30 goals in a season, and just the fourth Preds player all-time to surpass the 30-goals mark. Since then, the Solletuna, Sweden native has recorded at least 20 goals in all three of his full NHL seasons (not including the shortened 2012-13 season).

Hornqvist is just the ninth of 44 players selected with the final pick of an entry draft (modern era, since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is only one of three Mr. Irrelevants to play at least 100 NHL games and record at least 150 points.

On April 30, Hornqvist signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract, keeping the Swedish forward in Nashville through the 2017-18 season.

Click here to see: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33