The Predators hope that Austin Watson is starting to tap into his potential.
The forward was a 2010 first-overall draft selection and played with Peterborough of the OHL after he was drafted. Even though he had 68 points in 68 games in the 2010-11 season, he failed to make the U.S. world junior team and left a lot to be desired in his development. He focused on getting into better shape last offseason, tallied 33 points in 32 games and was then traded to London, where his development reached a new level. He had 10 goals during the playoffs after notching 35 points in the regular season with the club. "You talk to his coaches and talk to the people who were around him in London, they see a kid who was determined and had some leadership qualities," said Martin Gelinas, the Preds director of player development. "He was also a difference maker on the ice too." Watson is expected to begin next year in the AHL.