Zach Magwood made sure to leave a good impression at the Nashville Predators development camp.
After the Barrie Colts winger finished up a strong week with a hat trick in the Predators’ Future Stars game, the National Hockey League club made sure it was a lasting one when Nashville president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile announced, on July 3, they signed the 20-year-old to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Passed over twice in the NHL draft, the third-year Barrie winger is coming off his best Ontario Hockey League season, posting 27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points in 65 games.
“It’s been awesome,” Magwood told NashvillePredators.com of his week at the Predators development camp, just before signing. “They got a great organization here. They’ve been spectacular to us here and (I’ve got) nothing to say but good things about Nashville.”
The five-foot-10, 188-pound native of Cambridge, who helped lead the Colts to a Central Division title and the second round of the playoffs, was a sixth-round selection (113th overall) of Barrie in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
His three goals in the Predators prospect game included a highlight-reel tally when he flipped the puck in the air to himself and batted it past the goalie.
“It was awesome,” he said of playing at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. “Even though it wasn’t full, the place was still loud and it wasn’t hard to feed off that energy.”
Magwood wasn’t the only Colt to ink a new NHL contract recently. The Detroit Red Wings announced, on July 5, they had re-signed left winger Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year contract. Coming off his third year with the Red Wings, the former Barrie Colts forward recorded a career high 16 goals, tied for third best on the team, and 33 points in 71 games.
The 23-year-old also tied an NHL record last season when he scored just six seconds into an overtime period on Jan. 3 against the Ottawa Senators.
Acquired by the Colts in a trade with the London Knights before the 2012-13 OHL season, Athanasiou would go on to post 78 goals and 162 points in two years with Barrie. The Woodbridge native was a fourth-round selection (110th overall) of Detroit in 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Athanasiou has tallied 43 goals and 76 points in 172 games with Detroit.
Photo: The Nashville Predators signed Barrie Colts forward Zach Magwood to a three-year, entry-level contract. Terry Wilson/OHL Images photo