Senators acquire winger Austin Watson from Predators

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Ottawa Senators acquired winger Austin Watson from the Nashville Predators on Saturday for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft.

The 28-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan, had six goals, eight assists and 65 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Predators in 2019-20. The 18th pick in 2010 by Nashville, Watson has 36 goals, 77 points and 358 penalty minutes in 306 regular-season games. He has 10 goals and nine assists in 45 playoff games,

The 6-foot-4, 204-pound forward was reinstated by the NHL in March 2019 after he entered the follow-up phase of the league’s substance abuse program. He started that season suspended and was banned again Jan. 29 as he entered the second stage of the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.

Watson pleaded no contest in July 2018 to domestic assault and agreed to a judicial diversion program that enabled the misdemeanour charge to be dismissed if he served three months of probation and completed an in-patient treatment program and a batterer’s intervention program.

His girlfriend issued a statement that October taking blame for the incident in a gas station parking lot that led to Watson’s arrest. Watson later shared in an Instagram post that he’d been dealing with anxiety, depression and alcoholism since the age of 18.

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