So this is my first time watching a draft of any sport, ever. This is an interesting experience. I like that the teams all have little kids in hilariously oversized jerseys ferrying messages around the tables. It makes me think of legislative pages from my times visiting the Georgia state capitol. Those kids have a heck of a job! Seeing them, as well as the happy parents watching their sons get selected, is probably the best part of this show. Also, I know rounds two through seven are the ones that sometimes the most exciting picks come from, but I just don’t have the time to devote to watching all of those picks. I will catch up with them later.
That being said, I was of course destined not to like the pro-Winnipeg slant taken by, um, pretty much everyone, but it’s still painful to witness. Not a single person mentioned the team that had to disappear for the apparently beloved Jets to reappear and I think that’s pretty scummy. Not even the Bruins guy mentioned us when he did his little “welcome Winnipeg” schtick, which is hilarious considering we had Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart for the last half of the season and we liked them.
Completely ignoring us and our mere existence is not the way to make Thrashers fans feel comfortable following their favorite guys even when they’re up in the north–giving us some sort of mention, anything at all, would be nice. (I’m a big fan of shoutouts and respect given.)
Fans on Tumblr pointed out to me that they didn’t do a moment of silence or in memoriam segment at the top of the show for Derek Boogaard, which is pretty sad considering he played for the Wild and this draft is in the Wild’s home barn. Finally he was mentioned in the Rangers’ pick, two hours later, when his brother announced the selection. Perhaps the NHL just has a hard time dealing with awkward things. That’s too bad–awkward things happen, after all, and dealing with them properly is a sign of maturity.
This was not my first sports draft (I’d watched the NFL draft a few years ago), but I really cared about this one. I’m happy that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins won’t be roaming far for his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers – he’s played in the minors for the Red Deer Rebels.
But after the 6th pick, it went downhill for me.
Did you catch Paul Holmgren outright lying on camera about why he traded Carter and Richards? “We wanted a fresh look to the team.” That’s your theory. Just tell the truth – you dumped them so you could afford Bryzgalov’s contract. What a jerk.
The teams kept congratulating the W city for gaining a team without mentioning/thanking Atlanta fans for their loyalty. NEWSFLASH: just because the team moved DOES NOT mean their fans are automatically fans of the new team. Thankfully, I didn’t have to yell at Stan Bowman for any boneheaded “WELCOME TO THE NHL ” shoutout.
However, I did yell at him for two of the night’s strangest and most wtf trades:
- First, the Sharks traded Devin Setoguchi to the Wild. He’d just signed a 3-year contract with the Sharks and had just come off an awesome playoff run.
- Then Troy Brouwer was traded to the Caps for the #26 draft pick. I literally screamed at Stan while I was on the phone with my sister.
- Finally, Brian Campbell waived his no-trade clause and was traded to the Florida Panthers for a guy whose name escapes me (I believe it’s Czech, so I’m giving Emma a heads up there). Again, I screamed at Stan, only this time I scared my cat.
I’m just hoping Brouws’ and Soupy’s departure paves the way for Patrick Sharp to stay with the team. His contract’s up next year, so maybe this is a sign that he’ll be with us on an 88-19-10 line.
Oh, I almost forgot! The #15 pick went to the New York Rangers, and they picked Jonathan Miller from National Developmental Team. I mention this because he’s from my county – his hometown of East Palestine is a 15 minute drive from here! He’ll be headed to the University of North Dakota this fall, but I’ll bet we’ll see him hit the NHL ice in 2012.
So, here are your top three overall picks for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft:
1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers)
2. Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche)
3. Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers)
Who will we see this fall? Time and training camp will tell.
(Also, I have to add that the NHL’s official draft prospect card pages for these guys are amazing. They talk about their careers, but also their personalities. You know, favorite movies, music, etc., plus their favorite goal celebrations.)