Congratulations go out to Scott Valentine, who came to Development Camp and Rookie Camp for the Nashville Predators and ended up earning himself a pro contract. It's always good to remember that while we usually focus on the competition for NHL roster spots, there are careers on the line at lower levels of the depth chart, too. This, from the Preds:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed free agent defenseman Scott Valentine to a three-year, entry level contract worth $1.695 million.
Valentine, 20 (5/2/91), played the past three-and-a-half seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey, posting 36 points (4g-32a) and 106 penalty minutes in 62 games with the club in 2010-11. The Metcalfe, Ont., native also ranked second among General defensemen in plus/minus rating (+17) and received the third-most votes in the "Best Body Checker" category of the 2011 OHL Eastern Conference Coaches' Poll.
The 6-1, 211-pounder originally selected by Anaheim in the sixth round (166th overall) of the 2009 Entry Draft is currently in training camp with the Predators primary development affiliate - the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals - where he is expected to start the season.
Here's what Seth wrote about Valentine heading into Development Camp earlier this summer:
What you need to know:
A former 6th round pick of the Anaheim Ducks, Scott Valentine comes to camp as an free agent invitee afterrejecting the Ducks contract offer last month. Valentine had a breakout year for the Oshawa Generals (OHL) last season scoring 36 points (4g, 32a) and racking up 106 PIM's in 62 games last season.
Valentine was drafted as a mean stay-at-home defenseman, but has improved his offensive game the past two seasons.
Where he will play in 2011-12:
That's really up to Valentine. As a free agent he can attend multiple camps this summer and will hope to garner interest from NHL teams and parlay that into a contract or training camp invite. This will be Valentine's first NHL camp of the summer.