The National Hockey League began its annual entry draft on Tuesday night. Alexis Lafreniere of Saint-Eustache, Quebec was selected first overall by the New York Rangers. This was no surprise whatsoever as Lafreniere was the consensus number one pick. Here are five storylines that were fascinating however.
5) Quinton Byfield becomes highest drafted black player in NHL history. With the number two pick, the Los Angeles Kings selected center who played this past season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. This past season Byfield had 32 goals and 50 assists for 82 points in only 45 games.
4) Yaroslav Askarov is the highest drafted goaltender. With the 11th overall pick, the Nashville Predators selected the Russian goaltender who played this past season with SKA-Neva, the second highest league in Russia. Askarov was the Russian goaltender when Russia won the silver medal at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Askarov also led Russia to a gold medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The Predators will hope Askarov follows in the footsteps of 2018 Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne, who was selected 258th overall by the Predators in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
3) Crystal Hawerchuk announces Winnipeg Jets first overall pick. With the 10th overall pick, the Winnipeg Jets selected center Cole Perfetti, a center from Whitby, Ontario. Perfetti’s name was announced by Crystal Hawerchuk, the wife of the late Dale Hawerchuk, one of the greatest Jets players of all-time, who died of cancer at the age of 57 on August 18.
2) San Jose Sharks use sign language to announce their first round pick. With the 31st pick, the San Jose Sharks selected Ozzy Wiesblatt of Calgary, Alberta. However the way the Sharks announced the pick will forever be remembered. Sharks director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. used sign language so Wiesblatt’s mother Kim could understand. Kim, who is a single mother of five, is deaf.
1) Alex Trebek announces the Ottawa Senators’ first round pick. In a spectacular moment from the 2020 NHL Draft, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek of Sudbury, Ontario announced that the Senators selected left winger Tim Stuetzle of Viersen, Germany third overall. This was an emotional appearance as Trebek has been battling pancreatic cancer since March of 2019.