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Austin Watson
Austin Watson 2016.jpg
Born January 13 1992 (1992-01-13) (age 25),
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Height
Weight
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Right
NHL team Nashville Predators
NHL Draft 18th overall, 2010
Nashville Predators
Playing career 2011–present

Austin Watson (born January 13, 1992) is an American ice hockey centre who is currently playing for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected 18th overall by the Predators in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Austin Watson was born January 13, 1992, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was raised by his father and mother,[2] Mike and Mary Watson. He is the oldest of ten children, nine boys and one girl.[3] He went to school one year at Detroit Catholic Central High School, and one year at Father Gabriel Richard High School before he was drafted into the OHL, where he attended St. Anne's High School, and after being traded to Peterborough, finishing high school there. Watson played for the high school golf team at Father Gabriel Richard, where they went to state finals.[4]

Playing careerEdit

JuniorEdit

Before the OHL, Watson played all of his early hockey with the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors, whose home arena is Compuware Arena. While playing for the Ambassadors, Watson received early exposure to OHL hockey, as Compuware Arena is also home to the Plymouth Whalers.

At first, Watson did not show interest in the OHL, and verbally committed to the University of Maine Black Bears, planning on playing for the US U-17 team. Because of his plans to play college, although he was projected to go second overall in the OHL draft, he ended up going 36th overall.[5] Because the U-17 delayed on giving him a spot, Watson decided to forgo his verbal commitment to Maine and play with the Windsor Spitfires.

Although it was a gamble, the Spitfires took a chance and drafted Watson. Their bet paid off, as Watson surprised people with his fast skating and smart play. Despite the fact that Watson hit a slump mid-season, he came out with 10 goals and 19 assists, for a total of 29 points. During playoffs, after a total of 20 games played, he snatched up 3 more points in the form of assists.[6] While Watson had a remarkable rookie season, he accompanied the Spitfires to becoming the most elite in the league, the CHL Memorial Cup champions, at the same time breaking the record and becoming the first team to ever come back for an overall win from fourth place in the finals. Also, it was the first Spitfires franchise win of the Memorial Cup.[7]

On January 11, 2010, the Spitfires traded Watson to the Peterborough Petes. The trade was to his benefit, as he received a chance at more playing time on this younger team.[8] Watson played in the 2010 CHL Top Prospects game for Team Cherry, and played well, as he, among other things, broke up a 5-on-3 penalty kill, though he unfortunately broke his ankle blocking a second shot and missed a month with the Petes.[9]

While playing with the Spitfires, Watson was projected to go 25th according to the International Scouting Service(ISS) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but after an advantageous trade to the Petes, he jumped in rank to 14th in April, where the NHL Central Scouting Final Ranks placed him. According to the ISS, he ranked 12th.[10][11] Watson was drafted 18th overall by the Nashville Predators.[12]

On January 9, 2012, Watson was traded to the London Knights.[13]

International playEdit

Medal record
Ice hockey
Competitor for Flag of the United States United States
IIHF World U18 Championship
Gold 2010 WJC U18

Watson was selected to play for the USA national under-18 select team for the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.[14] Despite the fact that the US did not win, he played well, tying the US record for most points in a single game.

Watson was selected to play for the US national team at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships. Though the US team ultimately won the gold medal, Watson was ejected from the championship game 5 minutes in for a boarding call.[15]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008–09Windsor SpitfiresOHL63101929412003315
2009–10Windsor SpitfiresOHL4211233414
2009–10Peterborough PetesOHL1091120842022
2010–11Peterborough PetesOHL6834346854
2010–11Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL5000030000
2011–12Peterborough PetesOHL3214193333
2011–12London KnightsOHL2911243514191071710
2012–13Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL722017372241010
2012–13Nashville PredatorsNHL61010
2013–14Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL762224462430006
2014–15Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL7626184434
2015–16Nashville PredatorsNHL57371032
NHL totals 63 4 7 11 32

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 United States WJC18 Gold medal icon 7 2 1 3 33
2012 United States WJC 7th 6 3 6 9 0
Junior totals 13 5 7 12 33

Awards and honorsEdit

Award Year Ref
Wayne Gretzky 99 Award - OHL Playoff MVP 2011–12
CHL Memorial Cup All-Star Team 2012 [16]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ryan Ellis
Nashville Predators first round draft pick
2010
Succeeded by
Seth Jones

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