This is a great time in NHL franchise history, with the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Canada, actually, Winnipeg, Manitoba to become the “Winnipeg Jets”. Along with the entry draft of hockey players, some of the best up and coming stars will hit the ice this coming fall. The new Winnipeg Jets chose Mark Scheifele of the Barrie Colts OHL. He was ranked the no. 16 North American player by Central Scouting.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 18-years-old played for the Red Deer Rebels and was ranked first overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers. Chose first overall by the draft, Nugent-Hopkins is the first hockey player from British Columbia to hold this honor. This center is the first player to also be chosen from the Western Hockey League since 1996. With the second choice, the Colorado Avalanche pick was Gabriel Landeskog, a left winger from the Kitchener Rangers.
The Florida Panthers with the third pick, took center, Jonathan Huberdeau from the Saint Johns Sea Dogs. The New Jersey Devils fourth pick was Adam Larsson, a Swedish defenseman, while Ryan Strome a center with the Niagara Ice Dogs went to the New York Islanders. The Ottawa Senators sixth pick was center Mika Zibanejad from Djurgarden. Six Swedish born players were picked in the first draft round.
The Saint John Sea Dogs had three players selected in the first round. Among the top 124 North American skaters, nine come from the Saint John Sea Dogs. In the history of the Sea Dogs, Huberdeau will hold the record for the highest draft pick. Speaking of Nugent-Hopkins, NHL Network analyst has said that he makes everyone around him better, that he is like Joe Sakic in his thinking and ability.