The big day has come and gone and wow, what a whirlwind it was. It seemed to take forever for the first selection to be called but once it came, before we knew it, we heard the 30th selection by the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings.
Like many drafts, this year's first round was fairly unpredictable, with the exception of the first and second overall picks, Nail Yakupov to the Oilers and Ryan Murray to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rumours were flying however that the Oilers and Blue Jackets were trying to make a trade deal with NY Rangers but....obviously it was not a done deal and the picks unfolded as expected.
There were a few prospects who were thought to be selected in the top five or ten, including 3rd ranked Mikhail Grigorenko, who ended up going to the Buffalo Sabres 14th overall, and Cody Ceci who was ranked at 6th overall and ended up going 15th to the Ottawa Senators.
Either way, when the 8th pick came up on the board for Carolina Hurricanes, they decided to announce a trade with Pittsburgh which involved Jordan Staal moving to Carolina in exchange for the Hurricanes 8th pick in 2012, Brandon Sutter and Brian Dumoulin. With the 8th pick, Pittsburgh selected Derrick Pouliot. We don't know if that pick affected the pick of the Winnipeg Jets or not but either way, I'm sure it was a distraction one way or another for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and his group.
"Anytime there is a trade that's made involving a pick that's right in front of you, you kind of wonder what they are thinking. You study the teams above you before the pick to see what their needs might be or where they might go so certainly when that trade was made, we were sitting there for a couple seconds and wondering but it was a big trade and obviously both teams made some things happen for their organization."
Once Cheveldayoff finally stepped up to the podium, he announced defenceman, Jacob Trouba from the USHL. It was a complete surprise up to that very moment when he called Trouba's name.
"He's someone that provides a lot of different qualities that we were looking for," said Cheveldayoff. "He's a big strong defender who will be tough to play against and loves to play a hard hitting game, but his character is something that is exceptional as well. He's been a captain on different teams, loves to play the game and in all aspects of it, we're happy and very fortunate with the draft being so unpredictable that we were able to get him where we were."
After Trouba shook hands with everyone at the Winnipeg Jets table, he was escorted to the media interview room where he spent the next half hour at least, talking to all sorts of media. JetsTV was able to get him alone for an exclusive interview on his thoughts on being selected by Winnipeg.
"It's cool to be going to Winnipeg," said Trouba."It's been great to be a part of this. It's what I've dreamed of...forever and the day is finally here. It's just cool to go through it all and I'm just taking it all in with my family who are very important to me."
After Trouba finished up with a handful of interviews, he continued on through the several stations that each draftee must go through. JetsTV followed Trouba through the getty images station, the autograph room, into the UpperDeck photo room where his rookie hockey card would soon be created, into another room for NHL content interviews and finally up to the suites where more than 20 family members were waiting to congratulate him.
The draft flew past us and all of the sudden, it's 11:30pm Eastern Time and it's less than 12 hours away until the second round will begin. The Winnipeg Jets will have five more selections one in each of the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds on Saturday...but the way this draft has gone so far.....that may change as the day unfolds, so stay tuned for our draft coverage tomorrow!