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Re-visiting Nashville’s 2008 Draft Class

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10 years later, what’s Nashville got to show for it?

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 12 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Approaching the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, the Nashville Predators had just come off a 91-point season and a first-round loss to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions - the Detroit Red Wings.

The Nashville Predators entered day one of the draft with the 15th overall pick in their pocket but made a series of moves and ultimately were not on the board when the Ottawa Senators selected Erik Karlsson.

But, before we get into that, let’s take a brief look at Nashville’s roster heading into the off-season. On defense, the regular six were Dan Hamhuis (25), Marek Zidlicky (30), Greg Zanon (27), Greg de Vries (35), Ryan Suter (23), and Shea Weber (22) with a sprinkle of Ville Koistinen and Kevin Klein.

In goal the team primarily relied on Chris Mason (31) and Dan Ellis (27) to shoulder the load. And, at forward, the team’s leading scorers were JP Dumont (29), Jason Arnott (33), Alexander Radulov (21), Martin Erat (26), and David Legwand (27).

Some of my favorite members of the roster include: Jan Hlavac, Jed Ortmeyer, and Jerred Smithson.

With all that laid out, let’s get into a pick-by-pick breakdown.


Colin Wilson, C, Boston University (NCAA) — Round 1, 7th overall

- GP G A PTS PpG % Playoff GP Playoff PTS Playoff PpG Playoff %
- GP G A PTS PpG % Playoff GP Playoff PTS Playoff PpG Playoff %
Nashville 502 95 142 237 0.47 90 47 24 0.51 0.96
NHL 577 106 157 263 0.46 - 53 25 0.47 -

This pick was originally acquired from the New York Islanders on draft day in exchange for the 9th overall pick in 2008 and the 40th overall pick in 2008 (from Florida). The Islanders acquired this pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs, also on draft day, for the 5th overall pick in 2008 and conditional second-and third-round picks. The 9th overall pick sent to the Islanders was acquired from the Panthers the previous summer in exchange for Tomas Vokoun.

Colin Wilson largely never lived up to expectations in Nashville, but 500+ games in the NHL is no small feat. Wilson maxed out at 42 points in one season, 2014-15, for Nashville. The Predators paid Wilson a total of $16.375M over his time in Nashville, which equals $29,826.96 per game played and $62,739.46 per point scored.

That isn’t all bad for an NHL player, but, at 7th overall, that can be a tough pill to swallow, especially considering the Islanders took Josh Bailey 9th overall. Bailey has scored a similar amount of points-per-game over his career but has also posted 56 and 71 points in the past two seasons and currently has 19 points in 19 games this season.

Chet Pickard, G, Tri-City Americans (WHL) - Round 1, 18th overall

Pickard was taken with the 18th overall pick which was originally acquired from the Ottawa Senators for the 15th overall pick in 2008 and the 70th overall pick in 2009. The Predators went on to select Taylor Beck with the 70th overall pick. But guess who the Senators took at 15th overall: Erik Karlsson. That’s right - that Erik Karlsson.

Pickard never appeared in an NHL game and played only 43 total games for the Milwaukee Admirals. He currently plays for Adler Mannheim in the DEL with fellow Preds alumnus Marcel Goc.

This pick was a wild swing-and-miss.

Roman Josi, D, SC Bern (NLA) - Round 2, 38th overall

- GP G A PTS PpG % Playoff GP Playoff PTS Playoff PpG Playoff %
- GP G A PTS PpG % Playoff GP Playoff PTS Playoff PpG Playoff %
Nashville 502 83 224 307 0.61 100 65 28 0.43 100
NHL 502 83 224 307 0.61 - 65 28 0.43 -

What can I say? The Predators struck gold at 38th overall in 2008. The story of this pick is quite something. The Toronto Maple Leafs originally sent the pick to the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 27, 2007 with Brendan Bell for the 129th overall pick in 2008 - Joel Champagne - and former Predator Yanic Perreault who scored an impressive 57 points in 69 games for Nashville in 2005-06.

Phoenix then sent this pick, on draft day, to Nashville for the 46th overall pick in 2008 - Colby Robak - and the 76th overall pick in 2008 - Mathieu Brodeur. And thus, we have Roman Josi.

Taylor Stefishen, LW, Langley Chiefs (BHCL) - Round 5, 136th overall

Stefishen was taken in the 5th round with an originally-owned Nashville pick after an 81-point season in 57 games for Langley of the BCHL. Stefishen played two seasons at Ohio State before jumping ship to Prince George of the WHL. The closest he ever got to the NHL was 10 games for Texas and Adirondack of the AHL in 2014-15.

Stefishen is currently playing for the Hungarian team UTE of the Erste Liga. Do a quick YouTube search and most of Stefishen’s highlights are fights - another big miss.

Jeff Foss, D, RPI (NCAA) - Round 6, 166th overall

With their sixth-round pick, Nashville took defenseman Jeff Foss after his freshmen season at Rensselaer Polytechnic. Foss finished four years at RPI and played 33 games for Milwaukee in 2011 & 2012. He then spent 17 games with Cincinnati in the ECHL before last playing for KalPa in Finland in 2013-14.

Notable selections after Foss in the sixth round include Ben Smith and current Predator Zac Rinaldo (178th overall).

Jani Lajunen, C, Blues Jr, (Finn) - Round 7, 201st overall

The Predators acquired this pick from the New York Rangers on draft day for the 111th overall pick in 2008 - Dale Weise. They also acquired the 110th overall pick in 2009 which they used to select forward Nick Oliver.

Lajunen was selected after his first Junior-A season in Finland where he totaled 14 points in 25 games and had a one-game stint in the Liiga. He played three more seasons in Finland where he maxed out with 22 points in 60 games in 2010-11 for the Blues in Finland’s top league. He spent 115 regular-seasongames in Milwaukee from 2011-13, scoring 21 total points before being traded to the Blues, St. Louis edition. After going back to Europe in 2013, Lajunen appeared in four games for Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympics and now plays for HC Lugano in the Swiss National League-A.

Anders Lindback, G, Almtuna IS (Allsvenskan) - Round 7, 207th overall

- GP W L GA GAA Playoff GP Playoff W Playoff GAA
- GP W L GA GAA Playoff GP Playoff W Playoff GAA
Nashville 38 16 13 81 2.53 1 0 0
NHL 130 45 58 327 2.87 5 4 3.69

The fifth to last pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft was used to select Anders Lindback. The Predators previously owned the 196th overall pick in the seventh round, but that was sent to Tampa Bay for Jan Hlavac on Feb. 26, 2008 and later flipped to Philadelphia in a deal involving Vaclav Prospal.

The Predators acquired this pick from San Jose on draft day with the 98th overall pick in 2009 that was used to select Craig Smith in exchange for the 106th overall pick in 2008 - Harri Sateri.

Lindback never panned out as the true starter some had hoped, but 130 games is not bad for a seventh-round pick. The Predators paid Lindback a total of $1.475M over the course of his career, which equals $37,820.51 per game and $92,187.50 per win with the franchise.


This was a decently successful draft for Nashville just by acquiring Roman Josi. Throw in 588 more games from Colin Wilson and Anders Lindback and the pick used to select Craig Smith and you’ve got a decent haul. All in all, the Predators’ split these selections evenly: three hits, four misses.

All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com. All salary information is courtesy of capfriendly.com.