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Predators late draft picks having success

The Predators pride themselves on putting a lot of ressources on the draft. While the draft has been qualified as a crap shoot, GM Tremblay would say that it is an educated crap shoot: "Certainly, there is a lot of unknown things about drafting an 18 years old athlete that will impact upon whether he will be a player or not. Still, I believe that a keen eye can make a difference and let you bat an higher average".

With their late picks, the Predators have scored a couple of prospects in the 2013 and 2014 drafts have had success in their own leagues while being undrafted by the NHL.

In the WHL, Dryden Hunt has made the news for scoring successive hat-tricks in multiple games. Leading the WHL in scoring with 54 goals and 56 assists for 110 points in 67 games, Hunt should make his pro debut next year with the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers. A gifted offensive player with a deadly release, the Predators think Hunt could have a career as a Michael Ryder type of player. Some fans have created a page about Hunt with detailed analysis of his play and video: Hunt was selected by the Predators in the 8th round of the 2014 draft (#229).

Another prospect who has made a name for himself this year is Dylan Gambrell. Following a lackluster 2014-15 season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Gambrell has exploded in 2015-16 playing for the University of Denver. Playing as a freshman, Gambrell led a young Denver squad to a 17-5-2 season. He was named to the rookie all-star team along with highly regarded prospects Kyle Connor and Brock Boeser after putting up 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 34 games. He is likely to be drafted at this year’s draft considering he has overshadowed several already drafted prospects playing for Denver. Grambrell was selected by the Predators in the 8th round of the 2014 draft (#216).

Lastly, Zack Mitchell went undrafted but signed with the Minnesota Wild last year. Mitchell is leading a poor Iowa Wild squad in scoring with 20 goals and 16 assists in 59 games. He has been a consistent scoring threat for Iowa, improving his game from last year. With those numbers, he should get called up by the Wild either late this year or is likely to get a cup of tea at the NHL level next year. Mitchell was selected by the Predators in the 8th round of the 2013 draft (#218).