Preds claim Brandon Yip off of waivers from Colorado…

Brandon Yip (Bridget Samuels)

In a curious move, the Nashville Predators have claimed Colorado Avalanche forward Brandon Yip off of waivers.

RDS reporter Renaud P. Lavoie was the first to report the news and The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper has confirmed he will not be in the lineup tonight.

The Boston University graduate played with fellow Preds forward Colin Wilson when they won the 2009 National Championship. He was a point-per-game player during his senior season.

According to capgeek.com, the 26-year old winger has a cap hit of just $725,000, making him an affordable option for the Predators.

The curious part is this: who becomes the odd-man out? The fourth line boasts talented players like Matt Halischuk (10 goals) and Craig Smith (26 points) as well as prototypical Predator Jerred Smithson and/or the occasional toughness of Brian McGrattan. Is he a third line guy? The combination of Jordin Tootoo, Nick Spaling and Gabriel Bourque has been Nashville’s best line at times this season. One has to wonder where, exactly, Yip will fit in.

The official press release is below where you’ll notice that the Preds also took Smithson off the IR.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 19, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club claimed forward Brandon Yip on waivers from the Colorado Avalanche and activated forward Jerred Smithson from injured reserve.

Yip, 26 (4/25/85), has 41 points (23g-18a) in 113 career NHL contests, all with Colorado, since the 2009-10 campaign. The Vancouver, B.C., native has been limited to 10 games in 2011-12 – going pointless – due to arm (missed 18 games from Oct. 8-Nov. 15) and groin (missed four games from Dec. 13-19) injuries. The 6-1, 195-pound right wing amassed 108 points (45g-63a) in 139 games with Boston University from 2005-09, helping the Terriers win the 2009 NCAA National Championship on a team that also included current Predator Colin Wilson.

Colorado’s seventh selection, 239th overall (eighth round), in the 2004 Entry Draft, Yip is on a one-way contract worth $750,000.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Samuels // Flickr (used with permission)