Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, selected first, and Sabres forward Sam Reinhart, selected second, will face off against each other for the first time in their pro careers. While they are good friends and were roommates while trying out for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, they're focused on what lies ahead in their careers.
"I come into every single game with just an attitude that I want to come out, be positive, work hard and be enthusiastic about the game every shift," Ekblad said. "And that's kind of the mentality I have going into every game. I don't really think about who I'm playing against. You can't cheat against everyone; you have to play in this League because everyone is so good."
The top two picks in the draft haven't played against each other this early in a season since Oct. 11, 1997, when top pick Joe Thornton, then of the Boston Bruins, faced second pick and future teammate Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks.