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Preds sign Patric Hornqvist to five-year deal

Patric Hornqvist (Sarah Fuqua)

Five years, $21.25 million. That’s what the Nashville Predators feel Patric Hornqvist is worth.

Can you argue otherwise? Not only has he led the team in goals two times (30 in 2009-10 and 27 in 2011-12) but he’s a leader on the ice. There’s no greater example of the latter than his all-out, hustling, desperation, sliding back check on what would have been an empty net goal for the Chicago Blackhawks on April 6. Nashville’s playoff hopes were all but dead at that point and the game was all but over. The 26-year old winger was fighting until the end, however.

He earned the “A” on his sweater the following game.

The official press release is below.

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Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a five-year, $21.25 million contract.

“As we build towards the 2013-14 season and beyond, re-signing Patric Hornqvist was an off-season priority,” Poile said. “Since joining the Predators, he has become—and will remain—an integral member of our core group. Patric is everything we talk about as a Predator—he is relentless in going to the net and willing to pay the price to score goals, has a terrific work ethic and is a quality person who is respected on and off the ice. Patric is just entering the prime of his career. He has led our team in goal-scoring in two of the last four seasons and we are looking forward to him being a significant part of the Predators’ on-ice success in the years to come.”

Hornqvist, 26 (1/1/87), has amassed 20-plus goals in each of three full NHL seasons, becoming the first Nashville draft pick to do so. The Sollentuna, Sweden native became the fourth player in franchise history to score 30 goals in a season in 2009-10, while also tying for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (8) and finishing among the League leaders in power-play goals (10). He ranked second on the team in goals in 2010-11, then paced the team in the category again in 2011-12 with 27 tallies. Hornqvist was limited to 23 games in 2012-13 due to injury, but still led the team in power-play goals (4). In 287 career NHL contests, the 6-0, 190-pound right wing has 163 points (84g-79a), ranking 10th on the franchise’s all-time goals list and eighth in power-play goals (28).

Hornqvist has also been a mainstay on the Swedish National Team recently, participating in three World Championship tournaments since 2007, in addition to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Nashville’s seventh choice, 230th overall (seventh round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Hornqvist is the ninth of 44 players selected with the final pick of an entry draft (modern era, since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is one of three players picked last overall to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua (used with permission)