26-Year-Old Left Wing – Nashville Predators
Austin Watson Contract Information:
Signed a two-year (two-way) contract with the Predators in June 2015.
Watson -- who ended up filling for salary arbitration -- is seeking $1.4 million, whereas the Predators have proposed an offer of $700,000, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
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Austin Watson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Austin Watson.
Watson hasn't appeared in a game for the Predators since the lockout year of 2012-13, but after back-to-back 40-plus-point campaigns at AHL Milwaukee, it appears the team is preparing to clear a spot for him in 2015-16. The 23-year-old should benefit from the departures of forwards Matt Cullen and Mike Santorelli in free agency, as it's unclear if the Preds will look to replace them with veteran players. Even if Watson cracks the squad this season, he seems unlikely to win a top-six role off the bat, which might make it difficult for him to attain much fantasy relevance.
The Preds are very keen on Watson, who was their first-round draft pick this year, with GM David Poile even comparing him to Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. However, the team is already pretty deep on the right side, with wingers Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat both ahead of Watson on the depth chart, so it might be awhile before he's able to crack the roster. He probably won't garner any real fantasy value for another season or two, but keep an eye on him.