Crowd is largest for an NHL draft in over a decadeRALEIGH, N.C. (June 26, 2004)
– Davin Olsen, Vice President and General Manager of the RBC Center, announced the official attendance for today’s NHL draft as 15,672. Official attendance records have not been kept for all NHL drafts, but NHL officials stated that the crowd was the largest for an Entry Draft in over 10 years.
“The turnout for this event was tremendous,” said Olsen. “Despite the inclement weather disrupting the Caniac Carnival a bit this morning, to have 15,000 people still attend the draft shows our fans' dedication to our team and the NHL.”
The record crowd saluted Hurricanes’ first-round selection Andrew Ladd with a standing ovation when Carolina picked the left wing fourth overall. The Hurricanes acquired the fourth overall selection from Columbus in exchange for the eighth overall selection and the 59th overall selection. Ladd was ranked first overall among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s end-of-season rankings after totaling 30 goals and 45 assists (75 points) in 71 games for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. The Hurricanes went on to select Toronto-St. Michael’s (Ontario Hockey League) goaltender Justin Peters and St. Cloud State (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) defenseman Casey Borer in the subsequent two rounds to close out the team’s first-day selections.
The 2004 NHL Entry Draft continues tomorrow at the RBC Center, with Rounds 4-9 beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets for the NHL Entry Draft are free of charge and can be picked up at the RBC Center’s Dodge Box Office or printed from CarolinaHurricanes.com.