Predators conclude business with 2010 draft class, sign fifth-round pick

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 4:48pm

The Nashville Predators continued to conduct their offseason business overseas Tuesday.

Patrick Cehlin, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick out of Sweden, was signed to an entry-level contract with the expectation that he would play in North America next season. That followed a pair of recent free agent signings, one from Sweden and one from Finland.

The move also concludes the team’s initial business with its six-person 2010 draft class. Cehlin, 20, joins right wing Austin Watson (first round), defenseman Tyler Aronson (third round), defenseman Anthony Bitteto (sixth round) and center Joonas Rask (seventh) round under contract.

Nashville previously relinquished its rights to the other member of that group, left wing David Elsner (seventh round).

Cehlin, a 5-foot-11, 172-pound right wing, has spent the last three seasons with Djurgardens in Sweden’s top professional league. He set a career-high with 10 goals in 2011-12, which was fourth on the team. In 2011, he was one of Sweden’s top players in the World Junior Championships.

He is one of four Predators’ draft picks out of Sweden in the last three years.

In fact, they have taken at least one player out of Sweden in six of the last seven years. The only one who has become a full-time NHL player is Patric Hornqivst (seventh round, 2005), Nashville’s leading goal scorer in two of the past three seasons.