The Ottawa Senators have acquired forward Austin Watson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2021 4th round draft pick.
On Halloween of last year, the Predators signed Watson to a three year extension with a cap hit of $1.5 million. Unfortunately, he will play in zero games for them under that deal, as it just has kicked in this season. The Predators essentially replaced Watson yesterday when they signed Nick Cousins to a two year deal with the same cap hit. Since the Predators lack in depth, having Cousins, a lefty, and Watson, a righty, on the same line could have helped, as Cousins can play left wing and center while Watson can play both sides. Trading Watson doesn\’t make much sense, unless the Predators have something big in mind. They do have $14.66 million in cap space, so they could go after Taylor Hall or Mike Hoffman. The return for Watson is about what you would expect.
The Senators are having a pretty good offseason, and while Watson isn\’t anything special, he is a decent addition. A six-four winger who was a first rounder in 2010, Watson is now the 21st player from the first round of that draft to be traded. He is a physical player, eclipsing 100 hits in each of the last four seasons, including his 37 game 2018-19.
Watson, 28, scored six goals with eight assists for 14 points in 53 games for the Predators in 2019-20. In his NHL career, all in Nashville, Watson has 36 goals with 41 assists for 77 points in 306 games.