The prospect pool keeps getting deeper as the Nashville Predators have announced yet another entry level contract signing in the form of defenseman Jack Dougherty. The 19-year old was selected in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft and played for the University of Wisconsin last season.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has signed 2014 second-round selection Jack Dougherty to a three-year entry-level contract. The 6-1, 186-pound defenseman is expected to play his first season with the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks in 2015-16.
Dougherty, 19 (5/25/96), spent the 2014-15 season at the University of Wisconsin, tying for fourth among Big Ten freshmen defensemen in points (2g-7a-9pts) and ranking fifth in power-play points (1g-3a-4pts) among first-year blueliners. Prior to his lone collegiate season, the St. Paul, Minn., native played the 2013-14 season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, ranking second among team blueliners in goals (6), and fourth in points (22). He helped the United States win its fifth gold medal in a six-year span at the Under-18 World Championship in 2014, and led Team USA to a silver medal at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
Nashville’s third choice, 51st overall (second round), in the 2014 Entry Draft, Dougherty played two seasons of Minnesota High School hockey with St. Thomas Academy in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and helped the Cadets captured their third consecutive Class A state title in 2013. The sixth current or former Portland Winterhawk in the Predators organization, Dougherty is on Twitter @jackdougherty2.
As stated at the end of the opening paragraph of the Predators press release – he is expected to play for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL this coming season. For those that don’t follow junior hockey too closely just know that -that- team in Portland has a great reputation with prospects and, recently, defensemen: Matt Dumba, Derrick Pouliot, Seth Jones, and Joe Morrow.
I would anticipate Dougherty to kick up around Milwaukee at the end of his junior playing seasons these next two seasons. Per junior eligibility I don’t believe he would capable of playing a full AHL season until the last year of this three-year entry level contract. If I’m wrong on that the clarification would be splendid. No matter, I stand by what I pointed to up above. He’s in good hands right now with Portland.
@DoctorAdmirals He turns 20 this May so he will be able to play in the AHL in 2016-2017. Very interesting move to say the least.
— Bryant Fair (@OTFBryantFair) July 24, 2015
Sounds good enough to me. It’s not exactly the wackiest thing to see someone get their entry level contract now and not kick straight to the AHL or ECHL system either. Max Görtz signed his entry level contract last season but stuck around Sweden. And, even more recently, Yakov Trenin signed an entry level contract not too long after being drafted.