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Ex-NHL stars thrilled to see their sons drafted

Saturday, 06.27.2009 / 2:08 PM / 2009 NHL Entry Draft

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Father's Day came a week late for a number of fathers and sons in the hockey world.

Philip Samuelsson, Ryan Bourque, Landon Ferraro, Tyson Barrie and Marcus Foligno were among the sons who gave their famous fathers the thrill of a lifetime when they got to watch their sons get chosen on the second day of the 2009 Entry Draft.

Ulf Samuelsson, Ray Bourque, Ray Ferraro, Len Barrie and Mike Foligno joined Brent Ashton and Jan Erixon, who saw their sons, Carter and Tim, go in the first round Friday night.

"Anytime your son can get picked in the draft, no matter where it is, it's an exciting day," Len Barrie, who played seven NHL seasons and now is a co-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, told NHL.com.

There was a little bit of added excitement for the Samuelsson family. Ulf won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, then watched Saturday as the Pens selected Philip with the final pick of the second round (No. 61).

"I played there, we have friends there," Ulf told NHL.com. "Just right now looking at the jersey, it brings back so many memories of so many fun times.

"I know the kind of organization and team they have in Pittsburgh. Not only the recent success but I know the quality of the team and I also know the fans of Pittsburgh are great, so I'm very excited."

Philip, a defenseman who played with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League last season, will play at Boston College. He was born about a month after the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup, and the Mellon Arena dressing room became his personal playground during Ulf's four seasons with the Penguins.

"I remember him skating on the ice with the cones, I think he was 3, 4 years old the last year in Pittsburgh," Ulf said, "him coming around the rink, just hanging out in the locker room and having a lot of fun."

It wasn't all fun for young Philip, however.

"I definitely remember a story where I was scared of (Jaromir) Jagr because of his big hair back in the day. That's something that I remember," Philip said.

"I do remember that episode with Jagr," Ulf said. "He (Jagr) had this long hair and kind of came up to him close and leaned over him and (Philip) ran away and started crying. Every time he saw Jagr after that he started running. And Jagr felt terrible, he wanted to make up for it, always tried to give him stuff. But we moved shortly after that, so he never really did get over it."

The family celebrations began Saturday when the Detroit Red Wings took Ferraro, a center from the Red Deer Rebels, with the second pick of the second round (No. 32). Ferraro's father, Ray, was a fifth-round pick of the Hartford Whalers in 1982 and scored more than 400 NHL goals.

So father could tell son not to get worried that even though he was ranked No. 18 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

"They kept repeating that it's not like you're not going to get drafted," Landon said. "You're going to an NHL team. … I'm in a Detroit jersey so I'm pretty happy."

In the third round, the Colorado Avalanche selected Tyson Barrie (No. 64), a defenseman with the Kelowna Rockets, and the New York Rangers tabbed Ryan Bourque (No. 80), a center with the U.S. National Team Development Program who will play with the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL next season.

In the fourth round (No. 104), the Buffalo Sabres selected Marcus Foligno. Mike Foligno scored 20 goals eight times in 10 seasons with the Sabres.

While having a famous father isn't a prerequisite for hockey success, it certainly doesn't hurt.

"I always wanted to be like my dad," Philip Samuelsson said. "Ever since a young age I've been really passionate about hockey, and what better role model to have than a dad who played in the National Hockey League. I had someone to look up to when I was a little kid and it carries over your whole life."

While some fathers enjoy watching their kids from the sideline, Ulf Samuelsson has taken an active role in instructing his son.

"I started off on the sidelines," he said. "I was done playing, I had too much hockey the last hundred years of my life and I needed a breather away from the game. So I sat in the stands for about two weeks looking down at practice and then I said I have to get involved, this is too slow, let's get going on the ice. That's how it started and it's been so much fun since that day. Every time my schedule has allowed me I've been on the ice with him, trying to give him help."

Philip said he's enjoyed the help.

"It was great," he said. "I can't take advice from a better person."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.