Monday, June 14, 2010

Draft Outlook - Part Four (Watson)

Good morning, ladies and gents. In the fourth segment of this series (parts one, two and three here), we'll be taking a look at Peterborough Petes forward Austin Watson.

Watson, 18, is the prototype of a forward who does everything well, but nothing spectacularly. This year, he tallied 20 goals and 34 assists in 52 games, 42 of which were with the Windosr Spitfires, and the other 10 with the Peterborough Petes. Interestingly enough, he scored at a 2PPG pace in Peterborough following a trade on January 11th. This would seem to label him as a purely offensive forward, but don't let the numbers fool you.

Although I haven't seen too much of the other prospects I've touched on, I had the opportunity to see Watson play a few times this year, and one moment that stuck with me was the CHL Top Prospects Game. He is definitely a warrior. He blocked shots, stopped odd-man rushes and had an excellent defensive game, despite breaking his ankle after stopping a shot with it.

Peterborough Petes' GM, Jeff Twohey, is unsurprisingly pretty high on Watson. After the trade with the Spitfires to acquire the 6'3" winger from Michigan, Twohey was quoted as saying that Watson delivers "
assets that are priceless down the road" and that he is a "solid all-around player". The best comparable I can think of off the top of my head is an offensively inclined Chris Kelly.

Certainly, there are better options available for us. Granlund, Etem and even Tarasenko would be worth pursuing over Watson, in my opinion, even though Watson better fits Murray's style of player. But what do you think? Would a left-winger be preferable over a center at this point? And if Watson is the best player available, do you take him regardless of position?

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