Martin Erat was born August 28, 1981 in Trebic, Czech Republic. The 12th choice, 191st overall selection of the Nashville Predators in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Erat honed his skills in his homeland before bringing his game to North America and the WHL in 99-2000.
A speedy winger with offensive flare, Erat played two seasons in the WHL, with stops in Saskatoon and Red Deer. A member of the Czech Republic's World Junior entry in 2001, Erat and the Red Deer Rebels went on to capture the 2001 WHL title and 2001 Memorial Cup.
Coming two solid seasons in the WHL, Erat went on to make his NHL debut with the Preds' in 2001-02. A durable player, the Trebic, Czech Repbulic native went on to play 80 games in 2001-02, finishing the season with 33 points (9-24-33). In his sophomore year, Erat went on to spend most of his time with Nashville's AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, while seeing limited action with action the parent club.
With two seasons under his belt, Erat returned to the Nashville lineup in 2003-04 and went on to establish a career high 49 points (16-33-49) helping the Preds' reach the post season for the first time in franchise history.
On the international stage, Erat represented the Czech Republic in the 2001 World Junior Championship, the 2006 & 2008 World Hockey Championship, and the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, capturing a bronze medal in 2006.
During the 2006-07 NHL season, Erat emerged as a legitimate first line player, tallying 57 points in only 68 games, a career best.
In 2007-08, Erat again established a new career high with 23 goals and added 34 assists to match his point production from the previous season with 57.
In 2011-12 Erat would finally surpass 57 points. In 71 games for the Predators he recorded 19 goals and 39 assists for 58 points; One better than his previous best.
On April 3, 2013, the Predators traded Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals at the NHL trade deadline in exchange for prospect Filip Forsberg. At the time of the trade Erat was the Predators' franchise second leading all-time scorer.