(Patrick Kane goes #1 -
photo from TSN.ca)
The biggest interest for Bronco fans was the Edmonton Oilers selection of Riley Nash 21st overall. Nash is a Bronco bantam draft pick and has chosen the college route - he will attend Cornell University next season.
No one had Nash that high but the Oilers really like him. In a media scrum following the first round, Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe stated that he really interviewed and tested well with them and he has a "fire in his belly to play in the NHL". The Oilers weren't too confident he would be around with their next pick so they decided to scoop him up.
Sometimes NHL teams prefer their high end picks to get used to the NHL grind by playing in the Western Hockey League or the CHL in general. The question did come up in the scrum. Lowe says he's ok with the College route but would "pick him up himself and deliver him personally to the WHL if Nash ever considered it." He says you have to respect the players wishes and it's something they will look at in the near future.
I congratulated and interviewed Riley Nash after he was taken and there's no doubt he's looking forward to going to Cornell next season. He has the utmost respect for the Broncos and the organization but just really wants to play College hockey.
At this point, he's a longshot to ever play in Swifty but who knows. I'm not going to hold my breath. Good luck to him.
I don't have any pictures from today's festivities...mostly because I left the camera's memory card in my hotel room. I'll have a ton tomorrow. I also have some pics with the Stanley Cup that was out making the rounds Thursday night with the staff of the Anaheim Ducks. For some reason I'm having trouble posting the photos here....I'm working on it.
The place was rocking when Columbus drafted 7th overall. There's nothing like being at ice level with 14,000 screaming fans. You get a small sense of what it must be like to play in that environment. It definetly gives you chills. It was incredible. The Jackets then selected Jakub Vorachek of the Halifax Moose Heads of the QMJHL.
It was a good first round for the WHL...drafted players included:
Thomas Hickey - Seattle Thunderbirds - 4th overall L.A. Kings
Karl Alzner - Calgary Hitmen - 5th overall Washington Capitals
Zach Hamill - Everett Silvertips - 8th overall Boston Bruins
Keaton Ellerby - Kamloops Blazers - 10th overall to Florida
Brandon Sutter - Red Deer Rebels - 11th overall to Carolina
Alex Plante - Calgary Hitmen - 15th overall to Edmonton
Colton Gillies - Saskatoon Blades - 16th overall to Minnesota
Jon Blum - Vancouver Giants - 23rd overall to Nashville
Nick Ross - Regina Pats - 30th overall to Phoenix
Everyone who I talked to thought Hickey went very high...not to say he isn't a great player (Kris Russell clone), but #4 overall?
Brandon Sutter was rumoured to be a few times 1st round wish list. Even though a lot of scouting services and high on him, the Carolina Hurricanes sure are.
I could go on and on about today's draft but I'm a little gassed so I'll shut it down from here.
It's going to be a fast-paced Saturday morning....should be fun!
One more thing...Congrats to Joe Carnahan from the Indians and his wife Loren. There wedding bash is tomorrow in Swifty and I will not be there. That promises to be a great time.