2011 NHL Entry Draft Live Blog

Have you gotten over the shock of what happened with the Flyers yesterday? Are you ready for some more? Good, because the rumour mill has been churning for a while now. There are also going to be some impossibly young people drafted to professional hockey teams tonight.

The players drafted tonight are all born in 1992 and 1993. That means they were born after Full House, Muppet Babies and The Real Ghostbusters had already gone off the air. For another reference point, the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is older than pretty much everyone who will be drafted today.

Want more obscure references like those ones, plus some actual talk about hockey? Excellent!

This post will be updated every 15 minutes or so (or as news breaks) as we welcome a whole new class of players into the NHL!

We’ve already had some action today. Here’s quick rundown of what’s happened so far:

Or at least they will be.

6:41 pm: It’s already getting confusing. “The last time the Winnipeg Jets were at the draft they also picked seventh and they drafted Shane Doan.” Except that was the Phoenix Coyotes, not THESE Winnipeg Jets who didn’t exist yet. My head hurts already.

6:44 pm: The rumours are swirling like crazy. Dan Tencer of 630 CHED says that Brian Campbell has been sent from Chicago to Columbus.

6:50 pm: Or maybe not. Yet.

6:52 pm: We’re literally MINUTES away folks. MINUTES.

6:55 pm: Both the Panthers and the Kings are showing off their new jerseys tonight. Not sure about Nashville yet. Winnipeg will have generic NHL jerseys on hand to make their picks feel really special.

7:00 pm: Everyone’s excited! Edmonton’s on the clock! Chips are being eaten!

7:02 pm: General managers are TALKING. Ottawa has a lot of picks! Edmonton is excited! So is Winnipeg!

7:04 pm: It feels like today will be a day where a lot of trades will be made and picks will be swapped. Brian Burke will be very upset if he doesn’t get in on that action.

7:05 pm: The Oilers have jumped back into the Ryan Smyth sweepstakes (?). The current rumour has Gilbert Brule going to Edmonton for Smythe.

7:07 pm: RNH is expected to go first overall. I’m gonna try to make RNH stick, no matter how awkward that is.

7:10 pm: Time is being killed everyone. Time is being killed. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Angelina Contesa Louisa Fancesca Banana-Fanna Bo Besca the Third says he’s been putting on weight. We all have RNH. We all have.

7:15 pm: There’s an awkward “Nugent-Hopkins Number One!” chant in Edmonton right now.

7:16 pm: Colin Campbell (with accompanying boos) is out with a nice tribute to E. J. McGuire. I bet you feel bad for booing now, Minnesota.

7:18 pm: Bettman is out. He makes a quick mention of the late Harley Hotchkiss and welcomes us to the show. The crowd “WOOOOOOOOOOS!” Welcome back Winnipeg! “You’ll have your chance.”?

7:20 pm: McGuire’s family announces the Oilers and we’re underway! Apparently the Smyth/Brule trade to bring Ryan Smyth back to Edmonton is official. Taylor Hall is with the Edmonton staff.

7:22 pm: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is your first overall draft pick! He puts on a white Oilers jersey. It’s the white version of the blue one which is a throw back to the 80s.

7:25 pm: The Ryan Smyth deal is not confirmed yet. TSN says that it is though, but Tambellini won’t confirm it.

7:30 pm: The Avalanche are up. They have a no-nonsense approach to this. Gabriel Landeskog.

7:33 pm: Right now, I wish Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson had kept his full name. “Nugent-Hopkins to Paajarvi-Svensson to Nugent-Hopkins… SCORES!

7:40 pm: Dale Tallon is up. Jonathan Huberdeau is a Florida Panther. I’m sorry Jonathan. The Panthers have a new red jersey, which just feels right.

7:46 pm: The New Jersey Devils are at the podium. How weird is it to see them drafting this early? They’re the first team to give the standard “We’d like to congratulate the Boston Bruins and thank our fans at home.” They select Adam Larsson. They’ve got to be ecstatic that he dropped to fourth. He’ll be a beast on their blue line. Pierre McGuire calls him “the steal of the draft!!!!”

7:50 pm: Nugent-Hopkins is an Oiler AND he’s adjusting his hat! If only Scott Lewis was around to see this!

7:55 pm: The Islanders are up. Garth Snow thanks “all 10,000 of our fans.” The jokes write themselves. Kyle Okposo (from St. Paul, Minnesota) announces Ryan Strome as their pick. His Twitter account is plugged.

8:00 pm: It’s Ottawa’s turn, but everyone’s all giddy about Winnipeg. Never has Canada cared less about Ottawa. They make it quick: Mika Zibanejad. “GO JETS GO” chants start already.

8:03 pm: Here’s the generic NHL jersey moment we’ve all been waiting for: the Winnipeg…….. COMMERCIAL BREAK.

8:08 pm: I know it’s going to be the Jets, but imagine the disappointment if it wasn’t?

8:09 pm: “Our first pick, on behalf of the Winnipeg Jets!” It’s official!

8:10 pm: The name wasn’t a surprise, but the pick kind of is. They take Mark Scheifele. He’s the proud owner of a generic black NHL jersey. Would it have killed them to give him an old school Jets jersey just this once?

8:19 pm: I have a feeling the lack of a retro Jets jersey has something to do with RBK. No evidence though. The Flyers are up with the pick they got from Columbus for Jeff Carter. Sean Couturier is a Philadelphia Flyer.

8:27 pm: The Bruins are up. It’s just unfair that they get to pick this high. They try to garner all the cheers by thanking the crowd and then welcoming the Jets back into the league. They select Dougie Hamilton. Finally we can announce who won the Phil Kessel trade…. right?

8:29 pm: Now that Dougie Hamilton is in the NHL, we’re waiting for the NHL.com headline to read “Teach Me How To Dougie” one day. Oh hi, Kate Upton!

8:35 pm: The hometown Minnesota Wild are up! The crowd is a little excited here. Mike Yeo, the new coach, is up. Jonas Brodin is welcomed to the State of Hockey He gets a green third jersey from the Wild. Now the draft feels pretty wide open. No idea who will go when or where.

He scares me.

8:40 pm: The Avalanche are back up. Duncan Siemens *snicker* is their pick. Bob McKenzie says he’s “a throwback to Scott Stevens” and somewhere Eric Lindros flinches.

8:45 pm: Ray Shero is talking to Brian Burke. Meanwhile, someone is getting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to sign a green Patrick Kane jersey? Why? Ryan Murphy is finally picked as the Carolina Hurricanes make their selection.

8:50 pm: Jay Feaster thanks the crowd, welcomes Winnipeg, congratulates the Bruins and does a tribute to Hotchkiss. Sven Baertschi is going to Calgary.

8:55 pm: Dallas’ logo is shown and there are boos. On a side note WinnipegJets.com now redirects to the Winnipeg NHL website. I wonder how much they paid that guy with the website about the Winnipeg air force?

9:00 pm: Even more boos for the Stars, because the people in Minnesota remember that another team used to play in their city, unlike the Winnipeg situation. The Stars select Jamieson Oleksiak. He’s 6’7″ so he gets the “shoot from below as he walks down the aisle to make him look even taller” treatment that the WWE uses with people like The Undertaker.

9:05 pm: Anyone remember Nathan Beaulieu?

9:07 pm: Aaron Boogaard is up with the Rangers. The Minnesota fans loved Derek. A nice tribute for him. “He wore 24 in your program, he wore 94 in ours, and he was without a doubt number one in our hearts.” A standing O for Boogaard.

9:10 pm: The Rangers select T.J. Miller. That seems a little bit off the board, but the last two-thirds of this first round are a huge toss-up.

9:12 pm: The Sabres are up. Their last 35 draft picks have been North American. Joel Armia breaks that streak.

9:22 pm: We have a trade! To Washington: Troy Brouwer, to Chicago: the 26th overall pick.

9:23 pm: The Habs speak French at the podium and the Minnesota crowd boos. There may have been a “USA!” chant there. Both classy AND intelligent. Nathan Beaulieu is this year’s Cam Fowler and he goes to the Habs.

9:32 pm: Bob McKenzie announces a blockbuster on Twitter: “SJS trades Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and 1st pick (No. 28) to MIN for Brent Burns and a 2nd rd pick.” The Minnesota crowd is pretty happy with this. Pierre McGuire says “Charlie Coyle is a rockstar player.” Setoguchi just signed a deal with San Jose yesterday.

9:36 pm: Mark McNeill is now a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Unsurprisingly, Pierre McGuire likes the pick.

9:40 pm: The Edmonton Oilers are back up! No, we’re not in the second round yet… it just feels like it. This is the 19th overall pick. The Ryan Smyth trade rumour persists, but it’s not official yet. Gary Bettman actually seems like he’s trying to move stuff along, which would be the first thing he’s done in a while that we can applaud. Oscar Klefbom is picked by the Oilers. McGuire calls him “a useful player.” What a compliment…

9:49 pm: The Coyotes are booed by the Winnipeg fans in attendance. But… they have Shane Doan… who was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets…. and they’re the Winnipeg Jets…. and….. ?

9:50 pm: Connor Murphy is a Coyote. My advice: Don’t buy a house in Phoenix.

9:52 pm: “We have a trade to announce!” We already know about this one. Brouwer to Washington for a first-round pick in this draft.

9:53 pm: How bad would you feel if you were finally drafted to the NHL and the microphone didn’t work when your name was announced? Ask Stefan Noeson, who is going to the Ottawa Senators. That’s a bit unexpected.

9:56 pm: How young is Stefan Noeson? His great grandfather took him to a Stars game as a child and that’s how he fell in love with hockey. The Dallas Stars have only existed since 1993.

9:58 pm: The Leafs make a trade! They get the 22nd pick from Anaheim in exchange for picks 30 and 39. The Leafs and Penguins were talking earlier… will Burke take whoever Shero wanted like in this conversation?

10:04 pm: The Leafs select Tyler Biggs with the 22nd pick. Biggs is listed as comparable to Colby Armstong, which means a $3 million contract is in his future.

10:06 pm: This just in: BRIAN BURKE’S TIE IS TIED! HIS TIE IS TIED!!!

10:08 pm: Darren Dreger Tweets that Ottawa and Detroit are in the middle of a trade. Bettman announces it: Pick 24 from Detroit to Ottawa for 35 and 48. Detroit always seems to trade down. It’s almost as if they have the ability to find sleeper picks or something.

10:15 pm: Ray Shero is up for the Penguins. They select Joe Morrow.

10:20 pm: Matt Puempel, who always turns out to be a very good player in NHL 11‘s Be A GM mode, is going to Ottawa. That’s good enough for me.

10:26 pm: Brian Burke and his properly tied tie is back. I’m so confused by the tie situation. Stuart Percy is the Leafs’ second pick of the first round.

10:33 pm: The awkward and creepy posed photos of the draft picks are starting to come in. Hi Mika Zibanejad:

10:36 pm: Bob McKenzie on Twitter says that Brian Campbell has agreed to waive his no trade clause to go to Florida. Dale Tallon must really like Brian Campbell… and the Panthers need to add salary.

10:38 pm: The Hawks are up now: Phillip Danault is their choice.

10:42 pm: The Lightning have their new blue jersey to present to Vladislav Namestnikov.

10:43 pm: Two more picks people. We can do this! We’re going to make it! We’re going to make it!

10:50 pm: Zach Phillips is cheered by the Minnesota crowd as he becomes a member of the Wild.

Meanwhile:

“Teach me how to Dougie! Teach me, teach me how to Dougie!
Everybody love me, everybody love me, everybody love me. You ain’t messing with my Dougie”

10:56 pm: It’s Vancouver’s turn. We’re pretty sure Mike Gillis thinks that the NHL, Gary Bettman, the officials and the biased media are to blame for the Canucks picking so low. The Canucks are loudly booed by the Minnesota fans. He says “we’d like to thank the Minnesota fans” and the fans cheer. Nicklas Jensen is the Canucks’ pick. The camera man stumbles as Jensen is walking up.

11:03 pm: Yes, 11:03 pm. Apparently the Florida/Chicago trade is Rostislav Olesz for Brian Campbell. It’s not officially done yet though.

11:06 pm: Anaheim uses the last pick of round one to select Rikard Rakell. This was Boston’s pick that then became the Leafs pick before being sent to Anaheim.

11:08 pm: The first round is done! We feel like these Winnipeg fans right now!

11:10 pm: Good night everyone. Thanks for joining us.