(Columbus, OH, June 21) – In the days and weeks leading up to the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft on Friday, the top prospects have undoubtedly been asked the same questions over and over again. On Thursday, they had to do that one more time at a media luncheon held at Nationwide Arena.
Seventeen of them were in attendance, and were introduced to the media by the Director of Central Scouting, former Flyers’ assistant coach, E.J. McGuire, who is in charge of giving the players their final rankings. After the introductions, each of the prospects took a seat before being surrounded by the attending media members.
|Patrick Kane |
Obviously, certain players had bigger crowds breathing down their necks than others, including what seems to be the consensus top three – forwards Patrick Kane, Kyle Turris and James vanRiemsdyk. It is probably safe to say that the Flyers will choose one of these three players should they hold onto their second overall pick in the draft.
Having said that, we asked each of these players what their overall impressions of the organization are, if they had met with Paul Holmgren and the Flyers staff, and what it would feel like to be drafted by Philadelphia.
James vanRiemsdyk, a New Jersey native, knows quite a bit about the recent history of the club.
“Growing up in New Jersey, it’s one of the big NHL teams I hear a lot about,” he said. “I remember watching them during the days of Eric Lindros and John LeClair, and they definitely had some tough teams and some good teams with Lindros, Brind’Amour and [Ron] Hextall.
“I met with Mr. Holmgren and Mr. Pryor, and they are both great guys who are really knowledgeable and passionate about their jobs. It would be a great thing to be a part of that organization,” he said.
Patrick Kane, another American, grew up in Buffalo, New York. With some of the recent playoff meetings between the Sabres and Flyers, it’s not surprising that the Flyers weren’t one of his favorite teams as a kid.
“Growing up I didn’t really like the Flyers, being a Buffalo fan,” said Kane.
|Kyle Turris |
Still, he would certainly have no issues putting on an orange and black jersey down the road.
“They have a ton of good young prospects. To be a part of that process and maybe a part of a Cup run in a couple of years or sooner would be special,” he said. “I’m only a Sabres fan until the day I get drafted.”
Turris met on Thursday morning with Chicago and Phoenix, owners of the first and third overall picks, respectively. He met with the Flyers brass in Vancouver a couple of months ago.
“They are a great organization that’s on the rise. They have a really bright future and a lot of young prospects coming up,” he said. “Also, it’s a great atmosphere in Philly and it would be a really cool place to play.”
And if the Flyers made him the second overall pick in the draft?
“That would be pretty cool. I’d really like that.”