In 2006, the Nashville Predators made their first selection of the NHL Entry Draft in the second round at 56th overall. With that pick, they chose Blake Geoffrion, born in Plantation, Florida, but raised in Brentwood, Tennessee.
In his short career, the 2010 winner of the NCAA’s Hobey Baker Award has already made history.
Blake became the first player from the Nashville Youth Hockey League ever taken in the NHL Entry Draft. The son of former NHLer Danny Geoffrion, the grandson of Hall-of-Famer Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and the great-grandson of Hall-of-Famer Howie Morenz, Blake made his NHL debut in February against the Dallas Stars, becoming the first fourth-generation player in NHL history.
Less than a month after his NHL debut, Geoffrion registered his first career hat trick in a memorable comeback win by Nashville in Buffalo.
After last season’s 12 game playoff run, some forget that Geoffrion has only been on the roster for 20 regular season games. On Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, Blake Geoffrion will play his first home opener for his hometown team – the team he grew up watching.
“It’s going to be a dream come true,” Geoffrion said. “I feel blessed, lucky and happy and thankful for the opportunity to play hockey every day.”
In two games, Geoffrion has yet to register his first point of the season and is one of a handful of waiver-eligible players on the roster – a fact that he knows. In order to remain on the roster, Geoffrion will be expected to bring a certain physicality each night.
“I focus on my game – playing hard every single night,” Geoffrion said. “I try to help the guys win, playing a solid two-way game all-around. I’ll chip in on the offense when I’m needed and play solid defensively.”
While Geoffrion has yet to score, his University of Wisconsin teammate Craig Smith has opened eyes across the board with his 2 goals and 4 points in the first two games of the season.
“Craig’s a great player,” Geoffrion said. “I played with him his freshman year and I was a senior. He’s a great player and a great shot. He’s got a great stride – a good skater. He’s got the whole package.”
- 17 of the 23 Predators roster players were drafted by the team.
- The Predators hold a 14-7-3 all-time record against Phoenix at the Bridgestone Arena.
- Nashville is 6-4-1-0 all-time in Bridgestone Arena home openers (2000-01′s official home opener was in Tokyo), winning their last four.
- Thursday marks the third-time in four years that the home opener is against a Pacific Division opponent. Last season, Nashville defeated Anaheim to open the season. In 2008, the Predators knocked off Dallas to open the home slate.