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Who Is The Greatest #31 In Nashville Predators History?

We're headed for a titanic battle in today's installation of our jersey number series - two goaltenders who spent years in the Nashville system, but only played a combined total of 5 games at the NHL level!

Brian Finley

A classic example of the "don't draft goalies in the first round" bit of hockey wisdom, Finley was taken 6th overall by the Predators in 1999. From there on, a number of injuries slowed his progress, and he ended up playing only two games for Nashville. His NHL debut came on January 1, 2003, when he relieved Tomas Vokoun in a 7-3 loss to Colorado. After that, it was just one more game in the 2005-2006 season before he left as a free agent that summer.

Interestingly, two other goalies were taken in that 1st round of 1999 as well - Maxime Oulett went at #22 to Philadelphia (he only played 12 career NHL games) and Ari Ahonen was taken by New Jersey with the 27th pick, and he never made it to the big leagues.

Mark Dekanich

Dex was a 5th draft pick by the Preds in 2006, who played out his collegiate career at Colgate before spending three seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals. Steady development over the course of that time had Dekanich eyeing an NHL job, and it appeared that a spot as Pekka Rinne's backup might be available until Anders Lindback came on the scene in the fall of 2010 and surprisingly won that job in training camp.

He did get one game with the Preds, a December 18, 2010 6-1 loss to the L.A. Kings in which Lindback started and gave up three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. Dekanich was dispatched back to Milwaukee after that game, and signed with Columbus as a free agent in the summer of 2011, but injuries limited him to just 5 games for their AHL affiliate last season.