Since we are still in limbo/mediation/decertification mode in the NHL and watching University of North Dakota hockey games on a week delay (and grumbling that none of them are prospects or draft picks of the Predators), it’s time to take a look at some of the Admirals rookies: Austin Watson and Patrick Cehlin.
In the top 20 rookies point totals, only three teams have more than one player topping the list: Houston Aeros, Lake Erie Monsters and Milwaukee Admirals. Thanks to the efforts of Austin Watson and Patrick Cehlin, the Ads are playing decent hockey and starting to tie some wins together after their tough series against the OKC Barons (who sport serious talent in Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and rookie leader Justin Schultz).
Austin Watson began the season with a slow start scoring 3 points in October. Since the start of November, Watson has exploded for 10 points in 11 games with one more contest left in the month. He had two multi-point games and has a dazzling PIM total with only 4 minutes lost to penalties. Watson is becoming a very disciplined player with the kind of level-headed play that a center must master for the NHL.
Patrick Cehlin amazed Milwaukee fans right out the gate with a two goal opening night. Since then, he had 5 points in October and 7 points in November (in 9 games, he missed two games in November to injury). The big difference between Cehlin and Watson is their plus/minus totals. Cehlin has only one point less than Watson on the season but is a -1 compared to Watson’s +7.
Watson and Cehlin are #1 and #2 in points for the Admirals alongside Chris Mueller (13 points) and their production is remarkable for the future of the Nashville Predators. Once again, the scouts for the Predators have been able to scout the depth talent out of Europe in Cehlin and the first round pick of Watson, so far, seems to be a very savvy pick out of the OHL Windsor Spitfires conclave.
An honorable mention should go to Daniel Bang who is progressing nicely in the last few games and has 10 points on the year in 13 games with a +5 rating. Yet another great find from Sweden for the Predators scouting squad.
Be sure to check out the Milwaukee Admirals this Friday as they take on the Chicago Wolves in Mailwaukee, their first game back after a 7 game road trip. Puck drop is at 7 P.M. CST and you can watch or listen live here.