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Author: Mark McGee (Nashville City Paper)Date: 01/10/2006
Nasvhille Predators sign forward Alexander Radulov

Alexander Radulov answering questions at the NHL Entry Draft after being selected by the Nashville Predators (Photo is a RussianProspects exclusive)
Predators sign forward Radulov
By Mark McGee, Sports Correspondent
January 10, 2006

If his performance in training camp had occurred three years ago instead of before this season, forward Alexander Radulov would probably already be wearing a Nashville Predators uniform.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz admitted that Radulov, 19, had played well enough in camp to earn a spot on the team. But the post-lockout version of the Predators is deeper than the previous editions of the team. Because of that the Predators let Radulov return to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and continue to hone his skills.

Monday afternoon the Predators signed Radulov to a contract. He will remain with Quebec, but since he is under contract he can play for either the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League or the Predators once Quebec's season is completed.

"This was based on how he played in training camp and in the World Juniors," said Predators general manager David Poile. "One of the reasons for doing it was to open up the possibility of his playing later in the season in Milwaukee or Nashville."

Radulov, a right wing, was the Predators' first round pick, 15th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.

He is third in the QMJHL with 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 33 games this season. He scored a franchise-high six goals in an 11-2 win over Drummondville on Oct. 28. He also added an assist which tied him for the franchise record for points in a game with seven.

"He is a good prospect who is getting better," said Poile. "He wants to play in the NHL. He wants to score goals. He has an electric personality. He is a very outstanding young man."

Last season at Quebec, his first in North America, he was third on his team in goals (32), assists (43) and points (75). He led his team in playoff goals with six. He tied for the team lead in playoff points with 11 (six goals, five assists).

"Two years ago he couldn't speak any English," said Poile. "He made the decision to come over here and learn to play the North American game and also learn English. He is a very smart player."

Radulov also scored four points (one goal, three assists) in helping Russia earn a silver medal in the World Junior Championships last season.

Radulov is the second player from the 2004 draft to sign with the Predators. Goaltender Pekka Rinne signed in August. He has played one game in goal for the Predators this season, getting a win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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