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Nashville Predators sign Ben Eaves to one-year contract

From the Nashville Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed free-agent forward Ben Eaves (BEHN EEVZ) to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000 on the NHL level and $105,000 on the AHL level.

Eaves, 27 (3/27/09), has played the past two seasons for the Espoo Blues of the Finnish league, posting 25 points (6g-19a) in 32 regular season games and 36 points (11g-25a) in 27 postseason contests. During the 2009 playoffs, the Minneapolis, Minn., native broke the league record for most points (24) in a postseason, leading all skaters in both points and assists. In the 2008 postseason, he paced the SM-Liiga in goals (7) and ranked second in points (12), helping Espoo to the championship series. The 5-9, 182-pound center played 48 AHL contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his first two professional seasons from 2004-06, notching 13 points (5g-8a).

Pittsburgh's sixth selection, 131st overall (fourth round) in the 2001 Entry Draft, Eaves played four seasons (2000-04) at Boston College, captaining the club in both his junior and senior seasons. He finished his collegiate career ranked fifth on the school's all-time assists list (116) and won the 2001 NCAA National Championship during his freshman season. His junior year, Eaves was a 2003 Hobey Baker Finalist and First-Team All-American. His younger brother, Patrick, plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, while his father, Mike, played 324 NHL games from 1978-86, and is now the head coach for University of Wisconsin's hockey team.

My guess is that this is a move to bolster the forward ranks in Milwaukee, but as we saw with Joel Ward last season, you never can tell how things will shake out.