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LIVE FROM LA: David Poile recaps the first day…

I had the chance to chat with Nashville General Manager David Poile just moments after Austin Watson was drafted 18th overall by the Predators.

Jeremy K. Gover: “Talk a little bit about this choice. Did you have your eye on him the entire time?”
David Poile: “We certainly did. The draft probably broke a little differently than we thought. There was good players at every position but there were some really high end defensemen that went later in the draft than we thought. Our aim was for a forward and Austin Watson was the guy that we wanted so… it got to be a little nervous as you get closer to your pick. A lot of forwards were taken and a lot of defensemen were there so we’re a little long on defense and we could’ve drafted a defenseman and that would’ve been a good pick also but probably not as popular in Nashville as us taking a forward.”

JG: “Is there anybody else available right now that you’d consider making a trade to get?”
DP: “No, we don’t have a second round pick. I would really like to get a second round pick. Our guys do have guys that would be available, not to move up in the remainder of this first round but if I could get a second round pick, I would really like to do that for tomorrow.”

JG: “Where do you see Austin Watson fitting in? Next year? Two years out?”
DP: “Well, these kids are young and these kids are just starting to develop both their game and physically so I certainly think they’ll be back in Junior but I would take a surprise if someone’s good enough to play. I think that’s probably the proper way. I mean, we’re looking for careers, not just one game.”

JG: “How important was it, do you feel, his being traded to Peterborough from Windsor (mid-season)?”
DP: “Well, I think that was key. In Windsor, he didn’t have as much ice time, not as much recognition. That was a big move for him to go to Peterborough, no question about that.”

JG: “He’s projected as a two-way forward, that’s the ‘Predators way’ but he can obviously score. Did that factor into why you targeted him?”
DP: “We could usually use some scoring. I like the fact that he looks like a complete player. We don’t need somebody to score 50 goals but I like 20 goal scorers who give it on both sides of the ice. Looks like he can be a penalty killer, he blocks shots and looks like he could be a good shut down guy. I mean, he’s got good size and he’s just got a lot of good potential there.”

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