Austin Watson
Austin Watson
28-Year-Old Left WingLW
Nashville Predators
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Watson is a good example of a tough guy/agitator who can score a little. Last season, he ranked first on the team in PIM (123; fourth overall in the NHL) and hits (187), while also finishing the regular season with a career-high 14 goals along with five assists. His 27-game suspension following his arrest and subsequent no-contest plea on a domestic assault charge at the end of June will no doubt set the winger back this season. Assuming he can somehow put the incident behind him and move forward, Watson should return to a similar third-line checking role for the Preds following his ban. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $3.3 million contract with the Predators in July of 2017.
Hit machine tickles twine
LWNashville Predators
April 22, 2019
Watson scored a goal on four shots and dished out 14 hits in Monday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Stars in Game 6.
Watson was a physical force of nature, scoring the opening goal and then running rampant with the lofty hit totals. Watson produced 16 points and 109 hits in 37 regular-season appearances, and has added a goal and a helper along with (32) hits in six postseason outings.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 2016-17 season did not get off to a good start for Watson, who was cut from training camp and placed on waivers in October. However, the Preds soon recalled him from the minors, and the 26-year-old went on to play in 77 of the next 79 games, recording a career-high 17 points as part of the Preds’ fourth line. Perhaps more impressively, Watson provided valuable scoring depth during the playoffs, contributing nine points in 22 games. That prompted the Preds to lock him up for the next three years with a new $3.3 million contract. Watson is expected to play a similar checking-line role for the Preds this season, but he could be given the occasional look in a scoring role, as he’s been a decent producer at AHL Milwaukee in recent years (90 points in 152 games from 2013 to 2015). He’s proven to be an asset in fantasy formats that count hits and PIM --- collecting 143 and 99, respectively, last season -- and the 26-year-old’s upside to improve offensively makes him an attractive sleeper in deep leagues
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.
More Fantasy News
Tallies two helpers in win
LWNashville Predators
April 4, 2019
Watson picked up a pair of assists in Thursday's 3-2 win over Vancouver.
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In lineup Tuesday
LWNashville Predators
April 2, 2019
Watson -- who was recalled from a conditioning stint Sunday -- will play in Tuesday's game against the Sabres.
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Recalled to NHL
LWNashville Predators
March 31, 2019
Watson was recalled from AHL Milwaukee on Sunday, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
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Scores twice in minors
LWNashville Predators
March 28, 2019
Watson recorded a pair of goals for AHL Milwaukee in Wednesday's clash with AHL Rockford.
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On conditioning assignment
LWNashville Predators
March 25, 2019
Watson was sent to AHL Milwaukee for a conditioning assignment Monday.
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