Tri-City Americans

SPORTS: Ams' Pickard signs NHL deal with Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators announced today the signing of Tri-City Americans goaltender Chet Pickard to an entry-level contract.

Pickard was first goalie selected in the 2008 National Hockey League draft and was Nashville’s second selection, 18th overall.

He will be at Nashville’s training camp when it opens Sept. 19. The Americans open their Western Hockey League regular season Sept. 20 at home vs. Kelowna.

The standard entry-level contract features a base salary of $875,000, but it does not include performance bonuses. For example, Steven Stamkos, the first pick overall in the draft, signed a three-year, $2.65 million contract last month with the Tampa Bay Lightning — a deal that reportedly could top $11 million in bonuses.

Based on his draft position, it is believed Pickard received about $500,000 to sign his incentive-laden contract.

Pickard, 18, was voted as WHL Goaltender of the Year while leading the Americans to their first division title and the WHL's best record in the regular season.

The Moncton, New Brunswick native led all WHL goaltenders in wins (46), in addition to setting a Tri-City franchise record for victories. In three WHL seasons, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound goalie has a 72-31-6 record.

Today, Pickard is featured on the home page of the Predators.