Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

With deadline looming, Preds sign prospect Kirkland

2014 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Justin Kirkland meets his team after being drafted #62 by the Nashville Predators on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Given how things have gone with Nashville and unsigned draftees lately, today’s signing of Justin Kirkland is noteworthy.

Kirkland, the 62nd overall pick at the ’14 draft, signed his three-year, entry-level deal with the Preds today, just two weeks shy of the June 1 deadline which could’ve seen him re-enter the draft.

Remember that Nashville already lost out on another of its draftees -- Harvard star and Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey -- so, in light of that, the Kirkland deal has a little more significance than usual.

More on the 19-year-old, from the club:

[Kirkland] amassed 67 points (31g-36a) in 69 games with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets in 2015-16, his third season with the club.

In 2014-15, the 6-foot-3, 183-pound left wing helped the Rockets claim the WHL regular-season and playoff titles and advance to the Memorial Cup Final, tying for sixth among all skaters in points (2g-3a-5pts, 5gp) at the tournament.

The Camrose, Alta., native ranked eighth among Western Hockey League rookies in points (17g-31a-48pts) in 2013-14, and for his Kelowna career, has 169 points (71g-98a) in 199 games.

Kirkland is expected to play in AHL Milwaukee next season.