Draft Underway

First off, I’ve got to give some props to this L.A. crowd. Some empty seats in here, but there are a lot more people than I expected. And they are much louder than expected. There were some huge cheers for Luc Robitaille and Kings captain Dustin Brown, who said a few words before the proceedings began.

This will be the page that I continuously update for much of the Draft, so if you are an R.S.S. feed subscriber to the Lighthouse, breathe easy. You won’t be getting any more alerts of a posting.

But keep coming back here as it will be updated frequently (I hope).

Gary Bettman makes his first appearance on stage to a raucous and extended standing ovation (picture that Youtube video of the people across America watching Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria). After writing that, I’m hoping people aren’t checking my work for accuracy. After watching David Stern at the NBA Draft last night, I wish Bettman would poke some fun at everything. I’d like to see him high-stepping out on stage and “raising the roof.”

Edmonton makes it’s way to the stage while four guys in orange tuxedos looking like Lloyd Christmas  get rowdy. We’ll see how rowdy they are if Cam Fowler gets selected.

Nope, the Oilers finally end the speculation and go with Taylor Hall. The majority of Edmonton fans love it, and I have to think this was the right choice. He seems like a can’t miss pick. Unfortunately, the Wild will be seeing a lot of him.

Boston is now on the clock. I wonder who they will take, I say as I scratch my chin…

…Oh criminy! Brent Flahr might as well tear up his list now. Both Hall AND Tyler Seguin are gone just two picks into this thing. I have to assume this will completely alter Flahr’s strategy for the rest of the weekend.

The Florida Panthers’ turn to invade the stage, and now it’s anybody’s guess how things shake out for the rest of the night. They Cats go defense and take Erik Gudbranson. He was highly rated, and this one isn’t too surprising. I’m sure the entire state of Florida is cheering this pick loudly right now.

As in year’s past, the suits these prospects are wearing are rather tame. Where are all of the plaid pajama pants?

It’s not official yet, but apparently former Gopher Keith Ballard is headed to the Vancouver Canucks for their first round pick (25th overall) and Steve Bernier. Roberto Luongo better not let in any goals while Ballard is out there.

Here come the Blue Jackets, who take center Ryan Johansen from the Portland Winterhawks. I’m a bit surprised by this, and actually somewhat pleased. He wasn’t on my short list of Wild hopefuls. I don’t consider him a “sexy” pick, and I’m hoping to use the term “sexy pick” many times tonight.

The New York Islanders will now select a toy for John Tavares to play with down the road. They go offense and nab Nino “El Nino” Niederreiter, the first European-born player selected. This would be another surprise. He was projected to be around when the Wild picked at nine.

Stevie Y of the Lightning selects who many project as one of the best offensive talents in the Draft, Brett Connolly. He dealt with some serious hip injuries, but his talent seems to be unquestioned.

Two more picks before the Wild are up. With Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley still on the board, will the Wild go defense?

Tom Petty’s “Waiting is the Hardest Part” is blaring over the PA system. I could not agree more.

Carolina is up now, and they go with goal-scoring and take Jeff Skinner from Kitchener. Wow! The Wild could take Gormley or Fowler if they stay at nine as this Draft is obscenely heavy on offense.

The Thrashers are the last team to pick before the Wild is up, and they also go offensive and take Alexander Burmistrov. This is getting crazy.

I’m about to be very busy. Will get back on here when possible, but Wild.com will be continuously updated as soon as we make our pick.

Apparently, Chuck Fletcher’s phone is ringing off the hook right now.

The Wild don’t take long to get to the podium. Fletcher announces that the Wild will take Finnish star Mikael Granlund. Stay tuned.

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