Ducks Draft Blog (Day 1)
By Adam Brady
All time Pacific
That concludes the Draft for tonight after what feels like about 17 hours. And this is what this place looks like when it's over.
We're back here tomorrow morning, but if you're not back here as well, I'll understand. I'm trying to get audio from Ducks pick Logan MacMillan, so check the website for that. It will be in the story about the Ducks selecting him, right here.
That's it for me. You've been great. Goodnight, everybody! Check Ducks Blog for any further blogging tonight or this weekend.
No Gretzky at the podium this time, and the Coyotes select Nick Ross of Edmonton, Alberta, as the city of Edmonton has a huge presence in this first round. They give up that last pick, which ironically goes to an Edmonton kid.
The Senators take James O'Brien (though the Senators GM calls him "Jimmy") of Maplewood, Minnesota, who played for the Golden Gophers last year. He was the youngest player in Division I last year, as he just turned 18 on January 29.
Phoenix will wrap this thing up for tonight with the 30th selection. There are actually still several thousand fans left in here.
We're getting close to being finished here. Bettman announces that the 29th pick goes to the Ottawa Senators, and they get booed too. Stanley Cup finalists aren't popular in these parts.
I didn't see which San Jose management guy announced their pick, but his voice sounded like it's been a long night. The Sharks take Nicholas Petrecki of Schenectady, New York, who played with Omaha of the USHL last season. He apparently patterns his game after Chris Pronger, according to the media guide and lists Pronger with Mark Messier and Tiger Woods as his three ideal dinner guests.
Washington trades its upcoming 28th pick to San Jose for the Sharks' 41st pick and their 2nd-round pick in the 2008 Draft. The Sharks have been active!
Defenseman Brendan Smith is chosen by the Detroit and promptly booed, not because of anything personal, but because he's a Red Wing. Smith, by the way, is from Toronto and happens to wear 14 because of Brendan Shanahan, who happens to be a former Red Wing. He also patterns his game after Scott Niedermayer. Not a bad choice.
They really hate Detroit out here, which seems to be a popular sentiment these days. The announcement of the Red Wings upcoming pick draws a round of boos.
The Blues take David Perron of Sherbrooke, Quebec and somehow his girlfriend/sister (don't know which) makes it up to the stage with him and gets a jersey too.
Vancouver takes center Patrick White of Grand Rapids, Minnesota with the 25th pick.
And I've got even bigger news. The drunk guys behind us were kicked out of here.
I'm not able to watch this thing on Versus, but I just heard that every time Russian Alexei Cherepanov and Angelo Esposito were passed over, the announcers were losing their minds. Then Brian Burke was interviewed and asked if he would have taken Cherepanov at No. 19 if he'd been available. Burke just chuckled and said "Next question."
Got to love Burkie, and I'm not just saying that because he could have me fired with a snap of the fingers.
The Calgary Flames select Mikael Backlund of Sweden, who was ranked No. 2 among European Skaters but fell to the 24th pick.
This crowd has really stopped caring. Now they're just kind of yelling at each other. And there is a drunk fan behind our media area screaming his head off about how much he hates the New York Islanders. Security?
Nashville takes Jon Blum, the defenseman from Rancho Santa Margarita. He is the sixth kid from there selected in the first round. Wait, that can't be right.
In all seriousness, it's a great moment for the Blum family, which has dealt with some heartbreak recently. CLICK HERE for the story.
Montreal selects Max Pacioretty of New Canaan, Connecticut, who played for Sioux City of the USHL last year. The media guide says Max likes to take an ice bath on game day because he's superstitious. And then he's cold.
The Oilers select center Riley Nash of Consort, Alberta, who played last year for Salmon Arm of the BCHL. Shouldn't it be Salmon Fin? (I wish I could say that was the worst joke of the night).
Phoenix trades their 21st pick to Edmonton for the Oilers' 30th and 36th picks. That gives the Oilers a staggering three selections in the first 21. Is it too early to go to Vegas and bet on the 2011 Stanley Cup champions?
That 30th pick, we mentioned before, used to be Anaheim's and Edmonton got it in the Chris Pronger trade.
The Pens take center Angelo Esposito (I think he's Italian) of Montreal, Quebec. He lists NHL great Phil Esposito as one of the three people he'd like to have dinner with, even though they're not related.
The crowd goes nuts when it's announced that the Penguins pick next. Pittsburgh is apparently just three hours from here. Then it's announced the Penguins trade Chris Thorburn to Atlanta for the Thrasher's 3rd-round pick, which is the 67th overall.
DUCKS SELECTION: Brian Burke hits the stage to announce the Ducks take center Logan MacMillan of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. MacMillan played for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.
He's listed by the Scouting Service as a "power forward that plays with an edge ... goes hard to the net." He had 55 points (20 goals and 35 assists) in 68 games with Halifax this season, including 38 in the last 35 games. He turned 18 on July 5.
Bettman: "The 19th selection belongs to the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks."
The Blues seem to know who they wanted. They quickly take defenseman Ian Cole of Ann Arbor, Michigan and you can hear the screams of his family from the other side of the arena. Cool moment.
The media guide says Ian wore #28 "because I always wanted to be like my dad and he wore 14, so I multiplied it by two." Why didn't he just wear 14?
Calgary trades their upcoming 18th pick to St. Louis for the 24th pick and the 70th pick. And the crowd reacts as if Bettman said, "To the owner of a silver Ford Taurus ... your lights are on."
Here come the Ranguhs. They take Russian Alexei Cherepanov, who has to have some of the worst hair in the history of this Draft. It's a mullet, but it also looks like he's been wearing a baseball cap for the last four months. Alexei removed his suit jacket in preparation for the jersey donning to reveal a skin-tight black silk t-shirt. Got to love this kid.
"How to Save a Life" by the Fray comes over the PA. Not sure why. But I do like that song. I know, I'm soft.
The Wild quickly hit the stage and take center Colton Gillies of White Rock, British Columbia. It says in the media guide that he "wears #18 because he couldn't have his favorite #9". How bad does #9 feel right now?
NEWS FLASH: Bettman announces that the Ducks trade their 16th pick to Minnesota for the Wild's 19th pick and 42nd pick.
Guess we'll have to wait a bit for the Ducks pick.
The Oilers take Alex Plante of Manitoba, another former Calgary Hitman. He's listed at 6-5, 220. That's one way to make them forget about Pronger.
The Oilers make their second of three first-round picks next, followed by a little team known as the Stanley Cup champs.
The Colorado Avalanche take defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich, Connecticut, who played for the U.S. National Under-18 team last year. His name sounds like a mixture of Captain Kirk and William Shatner, the guy who played Captain Kirk. Interesting.
See, these are the things you write when you've never seen someone play. Bet you're not hearing this garbage on Versus!
Before announcing their pick. St. Louis GM thanks the city of Columbus and says, "We've had a great time in your city. On that note, sorry about the vomit from one of our assistants in front of Spice Bar."
Okay, I was kidding about that last sentence.
By the way, the Blues select Lars Eller. Good guess, he's from Denmark.
By the way, I probably shouldn't mention this because the Ducks aren't having a Draft party. But nearly every GM, before he announces his team's pick, is thanking the fans back home at the Draft party at fill-in-the-blank restaurant/bar. The trend started with one of the first picks of the night, which gave me this funny image of general managers of the other teams trying to follow suit, jumping on their cell phones and going, "Quick, where are our fans watching this? WHERE ARE OUR FANS WATCHING THIS???"
The Montreal Canadiens announce their pick in both French and English. And it's Ryan McDonagh, a high school kid from St. Paul, Minnesota. Ryan just turned 18 last week, according to the media guide.
Carolina takes Brandon Sutter of Huntington, New York. Says here he was born in Valentine's Day. I wonder if that means he doesn't have to get his girlfriend a gift. Maybe he just says, "Don't bother getting me one and we'll call it even."
Confident kid. Puts both arms around the Carolina suits standing next to him as they pose for the obligatory picture. Got to love that.
The Carolina Hurricanes pick next, the 11th pick overall. The Stanley Cup champions have the 11th selection in the draft and the team they beat had the 6th pick. Does that worry you, Ducks fans? Can't happen to us, right?
The Florida Panthers select defenseman Keaton Ellerby of Strathmore, Alberta. Keaton Ellerby. Doesn't that sound like a rich guy's name you'd make up if you were writing a book or screenplay?
I just took a look around and it's certain that I'm the best-looking guy in this area of press row. But that's not saying much. It's like being the coolest guy in line at the Star Wars premiere.
The Sharks take Logan Couture of Ontario, who played with Ottawa of the OHL last year. With a name like that, I assume he's a sharp dresser. It's possible only women got that joke.
Bettman now announces that St. Louis has traded its selection to San Jose, which will now pick next. St. Louis gets San Jose's 13th pick and a 3rd-round pick in 2008.
By the way, earlier today, San Jose acquired a conditional 1st round pick in 2007, a 2nd round pick in 2007 and a 4th round pick in 2009 from Toronto in exchange for Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell.
Bettman announces that St. Louis has the next pick, and the crowd boos. But maybe they're saying "Blues."
The Boston Bruins front office guy gets to the podium, thanks the fans, thanks the Bruins fans back home watching the Draft and then congratulates the Anaheim Ducks for winning the Stanley Cup title. And the crowd ... you guess it ... boos.
Then he welcomes former Bruins great Cam Neely to announce Boston's pick: center Zach Hamill of Vancouver, who played with Everett of the WHL.
Voracek slips on the hat and jersey and the crowd cheers much louder. Maybe they just like the jersey.
The Blue Jackets select Jakub Voracek of the Czech Republic. The crowd, ready to leave their feet, react kind of in a confused manner with polite applause. It's almost as if they announced that the Jackets selected Dakota Fanning.
Judging by the crowd cheers alone, the Blue Jackets pick next.
Edmonton tabs Sam Gagner of London, Ontario, who played for London in the OHL (as did Corey Perry). Gagner is pronounced GAHN-yay, just like former Dodgers relief pitcher Eric Gagne, but unlike former Minnesota Twins shortstop Greg Gagne, whose name was pronounced GAG-nee. Warrants mentioning. Or maybe it doesn't.
Edmonton picks next, sixth overall. Who would have ever predicted that after they made it to Game 7 of the Final last year? Then again, they don't have that tall defenseman anymore. The Oilers also have the 15th pick of the first round (from the trade that sent Ryan Smyth to the Islanders) and the last pick of the first round, which they got from the Ducks in the Pronger trade.
I always get a kick out of a draftee slipping a hockey jersey over a suit and tie. Always a good look, but no sillier than when an NBA draftee pulls on a ballcap to go with his pinstriped suit.
The Capitals select defenseman Karl Alzner of British Columbia, who played for the Calgary Hitmen, one of the coolest team names in hockey and former home of Ryan Getzlaf.
The Washington Capitals pick next. They of course took Alexander Ovechkin in the 2004 draft and that turned out pretty well.
The Kings take defenseman Thomas Hickey of Calgary, who played with Seattle of the WHL last year. He's 5-10, 182 pounds. That's about what I am, or at least it was before the playoffs started. That alone is a bad sign for L.A.
The Kings pick fourth and they're up next. Every time a team is about to pick, the video board shows highlights of that particular team through the NHL '08 video game. Makes me wish I were playing that game right now.
Wayne Gretzky steps to the stage to announce the Coyotes' pick. HIM they cheer. In fact, he gets a standing ovation and a "Gretzky, Gretzky" chant. He announces that the Coyotes take Kyle Turris of British Columbia, a guy who many thought would go first overall.
Phoenix is on the clock. I like saying "on the clock" so get used to it.
The Flyers select James vanRiemsdyk of the USA national team, a name that took me a minute and a half to spell. He slips on the Flyers jersey and a fan behind me yells, "See you next year, you piece of [garbage]." Nice.
The Blackhawks select American-born Patrick Kane of Buffalo, New York. And the Philadelphia Flyers are on the clock. This Columbus crowd boos every other team that's mentioned. Did they even PLAY Philadelphia this year?
And the Chicago Blackhawks are on the clock.
Commissioner Gary Bettman welcomes the crowd to a smattering of boos, but those quickly change to cheers when he mentions that we're coming up on the 10th anniversary of the Columbus franchise.
Jackets players Dan Frische and Jody Shelley introduce new Columbus uniforms, complete with a crest that features the Ohio flag. And guess what? They're on sale in the team store right now!
John H. McConnell, majority owner of the Jackets, welcomes the fans and thanks them for "sticking with us through thick and thin ... mostly thin." I'm not joking.
A gentleman walks up to the podium and welcomes the crowd to Nationwide Arena, then roars "home of your Columbus Bluuuuuuuuueeeeeee Jackets!" Something tells me he's the Jackets' PA announcer.
Updated June 22 at 3:30 p.m.
We're here at Nationwide Arena, a half hour before showtime, and the first reaction is that the NHL Entry Draft is much bigger than I thought. Outside the arena there is a big party with food and drink tents, plenty of hockey fans and the band Yellowcard playing a number of songs, including (I assume) their one good one. Inside the arena, the draft covers the area of what usually is the ice where the Blue Jackets play, and the stands are filled with several thousand fans. Some photos:
Updated June 22 at 3:29 p.m.
Welcome to the Ducks Draft Blog. Just like our other blogs and game logs, if you join us late, you'll want to read this page from the bottom up, just like Kings fans read the Western Conference standings. Enjoy.