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2014 NHL Draft Central

Predators select Jack Dougherty with the 51st overall pick


Jun 28, 2014

Originally, the Predators had been scheduled to select 46th overall, their second choice in the second round of the draft. After a trade with the San Jose Sharks, however, the Predators sent their 46th pick to the Sharks for the 51st overall selection and a 4th round selection in the 2015 pick.

With that 51st pick, the Predators chose to take highly-ranked American defenseman Jack Dougherty from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

“I’m a little speechless right now. It’s truly an honor. I always watched them playing the Wild. Good team and a good organzation. I’m really excited about it,” said Dougherty when speaking to the media after his selection.

Dougherty’s profile and analysis at Hockey’s Future has him consistently progressing as a true defenseman with nothing but potential in his future:

“Dougherty has made great strides the past couple of seasons — steadily progressing from a defensive defenseman to a confident puck handler and someone with a great ability to read the play. Has the size and skating ability that attracts scouts and has not let his offensive play diminish his defensive game.”

Committed to the University of Wisconsin, Dougherty will be following in the footsteps of former Nashville players Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Suter, Joe Piskula with the Milwaukee Admirals, and current Predators player Craig Smith.

“I think Wisconsin is a great place to develop especially for a defenseman. Hopefully I can turn into an NHL-ready defenseman and move on to Nashville after that,” said Dougherty. “I’m going to have a lot of fun playing for a school that develops a lot of NHL-caliber defenseman. I think we’re going to be really successful. I hope to have a big part in that. The ultimate goal is to win a National Championship.”

Being drafted by a team that consistently produces high-quality NHL defenseman, Dougherty couldn’t have been drafted to a better organization. He’ll have chances to work alongside Nashville’s development staff as well as some of the NHL’s best in Shea Weber and Roman Josi.

“I’m hoping to get that chance one day,” said Dougherty. “I want to make a career playing hockey and have a long career in the NHL. I think Nashville is the right place to stay and do that.”

Dougherty plans to be at Nashville’s rookie development camp starting on July 6th, however as any good student does, he has to make sure he talks it all over with his teachers.

“I just got to check with my teachers,” Dougherty laughed. “I’m taking classes right now, so that would be a week I would miss.”

As a fan of the Minnesota Wild and watching them play, Dougherty admitted he was a Ryan Suter fan. Key word there is “was.” When his fandom of Suter was brought up, with a hearty chuckle he gave the only answer that seemed fitting: “I guess not anymore”

If he develops well, he could turn out to be another great defenseman in a long line of top defensive prospects developed by the Predators. Truly, this is just the first step for Dougherty.

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua ')}