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With USA Hockey College Player of the Year and national champion Colin Wilson coming on board next year, the Nashville Predators are sure to have a star in the making join their roster. However, one star does not a champion make, as the Pittsburgh Penguins can attest.

The Predators have a bit of talent on the front end of their roster, but the majority of their talent comes from players over 30—many of whom may not last too long.

Captain Jason Arnott turns 35 at the beginning of the 2009-10 season, while J.P. Dumont recently turned 31. Radek Bonk and Steve Sullivan are 33 and 34, respectively, and both are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

On the back end, the Predators are not looking too bad. Superstar Shea Weber is just 23 years old, and the roster includes other such other young defensemen as Ville Koistinen, Dan Hamhuis, and Ryan Suter.

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With the 11th pick in the 2009 Draft, the Predators drafted Ryan Ellis, Defenseman from Windsor, OHL

NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
“He's a really smart, heady defenseman. His puck movement is excellent and the way he moves the puck around the zone is excellent. He's a real high-end offensive guy. He's got a great shot and he gets it through to the net. A lot of guys have their shots blocked, but he's got a real knack for getting it through, and that leads to a lot of tip-in and rebound goals. He's a smaller guy, but he's not afraid of taking the body. He shows no fear of getting involved in scrums, he's not intimidated.”
Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner
"I've only been in the (OHL) three years and other coaches I talk to, they've never seen a defenseman have an impact in a junior game like Ryan Ellis. He seems to be in on every play defensively and offensively. If you come away from the game and you look at who was your favorite player, who played the best, his name always seems to come to mind. There are plays where he's making something out of nothing. And his biggest asset is his shot. He's got an NHL one-timer, he's got an NHL slap shot, and that's a dangerous weapon.”
 

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In the second round the predators selected
Zach Budish
Right wing
Team South West, MHSEL
Final Rank: 22 Midterm Rank: 16 Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 229
Born: May 9, 1991 Hometown: Edina, MN
Born in: Edina, MN, USA

http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=5180&tab=scr

NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee

“Zach is physically mature in stature, has a good shot in traffic and has a strong ability to dissect the game around him. He’s a force, he’s hard to move off the puck and he can snap a wrist shot from the blue line. With Zach playing football and the two seasons overlapping, his criticism has been that he hasn’t had his skating legs under him, but I’ve seen Zach since he was 15 years old. I’ve seen how he has carried the team and made people around him better. He reminds me of Keith Tkachuk or David Backes at the same age.”
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=431978

Budish tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in October while playing linebacker for Edina's football team and missed the entire hockey season. As a result, there wasn't a lot to fall back on when making comparisons -- but Budish has a big frame, performed admirably at the NHL Combine and produced 27 points in 15 games with the Team Southwest of the Minnesota High School Elite League just prior to his injury, speaking volumes of his raw talent.

"The injury probably brought me down a little bit (in the draft), but it's not where you are now, it's where you are when you're ready to step in -- and I feel like I've been doing my rehabilitation to the best of ability," Budish said. "I'll continue to do that and, hopefully, be in the NHL some day."

The University of Minnesota-bound right wing posted 26 goals and 63 points in 30 regular-season games with Edina during the 2007-08 season. He entered the draft ranked 22nd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and was second among scholastic players to Phillips Andover Academy's Chris Kreider, who was drafted No. 19 by the Rangers. The first high school player off the board in the opening round was Eden Prairie's Nick Leddy to the Minnesota Wild with the No. 16 pick.
The predators had a second pick in the second round, which they selected Charles-Olivier Roussel
Shawinigan, QMJHL
Final Rank: 36 Midterm Rank: 30
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 196
Born: September 13, 1991 Hometown: St. Eustache, QC
Born in: St. Eustache, QC, CAN

http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=5594&tab=quo
 

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Round 3 (#70 overall) - Taylor Beck / Left Wing
Round 3 (#72 overall) - Michael Latta / Center
Round 4 (#98 overall) - Craig Smith / Center
Round 4 (#102 overall) - Mattias Ekholm / Defenseman
Round 4 (#110 overall) - Nick Oliver / Center and Left Wing
Round 5 (#132 overall) - Gabriel Bourque / Left Wing
Round 5 (#148 overall) - Traded to TBL
Round 7 (#192 overall) - Cam Reid / Center
Round 7 (#202 overall) - Traded to STL
 
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