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Fantasy Draft Night

by Ryan Johansen / Columbus Blue Jackets


What a day!

It’s been a long day to say the least but I’m excited to be here in Ottawa for the All-Star Game. I’m honored to be selected to represent the Columbus Blue Jackets this weekend and take part in the Super Skills with some of the best players in the world. It’s cold and there’s snow on the ground in Canada’s capital, but it’s always good to spend time in a great city.

I guess we can start with this morning for my first entry. I got up and made sure I had everything packed (last minute, I know) for the trip to Ottawa and got to Port Columbus just before 11 a.m. Before I boarded, I had a Q&A with our website and got set for my first flight to Toronto. It was a smooth flight and I landed in Toronto in the early afternoon, and had a little time to kill before my flight from Toronto to Ottawa.

On the flight into Ottawa, I was on the same plane as Canucks rookie Cody Hodgson and Corey Perry from the Anaheim Ducks! My mom (Roz) and good friends Travis and Jamie are here from back home and they got to see a lot of the atmosphere right away.

As soon as I got off the plane in the Ottawa airport, you could tell it’s definitely All-Star weekend. There are signs everywhere in the airport and people welcoming you to the NHL All-Star Game. Ottawa is a bilingual city, so all of the decorations are printed in both French and English, which is pretty cool. From the airport, we caught a ride to the hotel where I checked in and got my tickets.

The hotel room service knocked on our door literally right after we got there, and they had a plate full of chocolate desserts for us! Mom came running down the hall to get her hands on them, so we didn’t get to taste many of them.

Ryan Johansen (19) sits with fellow rookies at the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft.

At 6:30 p.m., we got on the bus to take us down to the Hilton Lac-Leamy, the hotel that has the theatre set up for the fantasy draft. The best part of the bus ride was sitting next to Daniel and Henrik Sedin – being born just outside Vancouver, we were all Canucks fans growing up and it was great to see their faces. I think they were in shock! Finally, at 7 p.m., it was time to eat. I was starving all day and we got a nice meal in the ballroom before the draft began. Once 8 p.m. rolled around it was time for the draft! The rookies sat in the green room with all the players before they were picked, and thankfully I didn’t have to worry about going last! The rookies split up into two groups of six, and my group was selected to play for Zdeno Chara’s team at tomorrow night’s skills competition. It’s humbling and I’m proud to be here in Ottawa as a member of the Blue Jackets.

I got to talk to a lot of the younger players I know from junior hockey days, particularly Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers and Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins. After the draft was over, we headed back to the hotel where I am right now. I’m ready for some sleep and another exciting day tomorrow.

I’ll be blogging right here at all weekend long, so check back in the next few days for more on my All-Star weekend!

Thanks for reading and check me out on twitter @RyanJohansen19


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