Predators sign Suter, Fiddler

The Nashville Predators, parent club of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, announced today that the club has signed their 2003 first-round draft choice, defenseman Ryan Suter, along with forward Vernon Fiddler. Fiddler was a member of the Admirals’ Calder Cup championship team last season.

Suter, 19, was the seventh overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He finished his freshman season at the University of Wisconsin in 2003-04 and was named the All-WCHA Third Team, the All-WCHA Rookie Team and’s All-Rookie Team.

The 6-1, 183-pound, Madison, Wis., native ranked second on the Badgers with a plus-19 rating, third with 93 penalty minutes and led team defensemen with 16 assists. Suter also helped the United States capture its first-ever gold medal at the World Junior Championships in 2004.

In addition to the 2004 World Junior Championships, Suter also played for the U.S. at the 2003 World Junior Championships. He is the only member of the U.S. National Team development program to win two gold medals in one season in 2002, when he won gold at the U-18 and U-17 World Championships.

Ryan’s father Bob was a member of the United States’ gold-medal Olympic team in 1980, and his uncle Gary played 17 NHL seasons from 1985-2002.

Fiddler, 24, has played in 101 games with the Admirals over the last two seasons. The 5-11, 200-pound native of Edmonton registered eight points (five goals, three assists) in the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs and led the Ads in playoff penalty minutes (36). He posted 24 points (9g, 15a) in 47 regular-season games with Milwaukee in 2003-04.

Fiddler has four goals and two assists in 36 career NHL games with Nashville over the last two years. He was originally signed as a free agent by Nashville on May 6, 2002.