NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29: Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against Matt Halischuk #24 of the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on October 29, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Our jersey number series continues with #24, where we find a mix of wingers, including one who was chosen by OTF readers as part of an All-Time Nashville Predators team voted on a few years ago...
Walker joined the Predators for their inaugural campaign, where he ended up playing for seven consecutive seasons. The Cambridge, Ontario native was given more responsibilities and expanded ice time, allowing him to score a career-high of 15 goals and 40 points in his first year. Walker's next explosive season came in the 2000-2001 season, breaking his previous record with 25 goals and 54 points and leading that team with most goals and powerplay goals (9) scored. Walker underwent a slump during the next two years, though he was named as the Predators' interim captain from January 12-25, 2003 when Greg Johnson was sidelined with injuries.
Nevertheless, he bounced back again in the 03-04 season when he accumulated 25 goals and 67 points in 75 games, becoming the highest-scoring player in Predators history. Not only did he have the most goals, assists, and points of the entire team, but he was also named the NHL Offensive Player of the Week of December 22nd. After an unimpressive follow-up season, Walker was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Josef Vasicek on July 18, 2006.
Spending the majority of his career honing his skills in the AHL, Bochenski was traded to the Predators by the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations on February 26, 2008. After 8 regular season games with the Preds, he scored 1 goal and 3 points. Bochenski followed the team to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings, though he was unable to record a single point in the three games he was put on the ice. That summer, Bochenski signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Another tenured minor league player, Guite signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators on July 14, 2009, spending the majority of the season with the Admirals (6 games with the Predators). In 64 games with the Ads, he recorded 8 goals and 21 points. Guite left as a free agent in the offseason and signed a one-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on August 18, 2010.
"Hally" was traded to the Predators on June 19, 2010 from the New Jersey Devils for the Preds' beloved captain Jason Arnott, who returned to the team for which he scored the Stanley-Cup winning goal in 2000. In his first season with the organization, Halischuck split his time between the Admirals and the Predators, scoring 4 goals and 12 points in 27 games for the Preds in the regular season (along with a fairly impressive +5 rating). Halischuck was called up to play in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Preds. Not only did he help the Predators win their first ever first-round series in the playoffs, but he also scored the game-winning goal in the 2nd overtime of Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Vancouver Canucks to even up the series at 1-1. It was Nashville's first-ever win in the second round of the playoffs. Though the Predators' remaining time in the playoffs was cut short, Halischuck's contract was extended to two more years with the Predators in the offseason. This past season, Halischuck amassed 15 goals and 28 points while playing on the third line with Nick Spaling and Gabriel Bourque.
Halischuck has proven to be a phenomenal addition to the Predators and he is not even close to reaching his fullest potential. He is aggressive on plays and does not hesitate to take shots, which explains him scoring the seventh-highest amount of goals for the team this past season. Expect the right winger to be paired up with rising stars Craig Smith and Gabriel Bourque now that Jordin Tootoo has gone to the dark side.
Who is the Greatest #24 in Nashville Predators history?
Brandon Bochenski (2 votes)
Ben Guite (1 vote)
Matt Halischuck (92 votes)
Scott Walker (437 votes)
532 total votes