In a memorable 2012 NHL Draft that saw a record-tying 13 defensemen taken in the first round (including eight of the top 10 picks), it was two forwards who also made history. And the coach who watched them play last season sees big things for both -- even if it potentially comes at the expense of his own team.
With Sarnia Sting teammates Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk selected first by Edmonton and third by Montreal respectively, it marked the first time teammates had been selected in the top three since the Sedin brothers were taken second and third in 1999. The last time two Canadian junior teammates were taken in the top three at the Draft was 1974, when Wilf Paiement and Richard Hampton of the St. Catherines Black Hawks were drafted by the Kansas City Scouts and California Seals, respectively.
"We had a pretty good indication that Yaky [Yakupov] was going to go number one. Gally [Galchenyuk], we didn't know. But we knew that Montreal liked him a lot," said Jacques Beaulieu, the Sarnia head coach and general manager who coached both players last season. "It's been hectic for the organization, but also positive."