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Blog: Draft prospects at the Stanley Cup Final

by Adam Kimelman
Just enjoying it all
6.04.2010 / 10:32 p.m. ET

The five top prospects and their dads picked a pretty good night to take in their first Stanley Cup Final game. Erik Gudbranson and his father, Wayne, were especially impressed by Claude Giroux. Giroux played some of his minor hockey near their Orleans, Ont., home, for the Cumberland Grads. Wayne Gudbranson called Giroux “cat-like” and loved how smart he is. Erik agreed.

Cam Fowler and Brett Connolly both commented on how loud the building was, which was just about what they expected. They also had a few Blackhawks fans sitting in front of them, so they got a first-hand view of just how welcoming of out-of-towners Flyers fans can be.

All five players are heading out tomorrow morning, but few are going home. Connolly has three stops on his tour of pre-draft interviews, including stops in Columbus and Minnesota.

It’s been quite an experience for the prospects, and their dads. Next stop: Los Angeles and the 2010 Entry Draft, June 25-26.

-- Adam Kimelman

Do you speak French?
6.04.2010 / 9:25 p.m. ET

Just after the first period, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall did an interview with French-language network RDS. Neither player, however, speaks French.

The questions were in English, and they were translated for broadcast, but the intros and outros were in French, which made for some amused glances from the players.

Next was a few steps down the hall to watch their appearance on Coach's Corner on a small monitor. It might have been the most excited they were all day.

Besides making fun of each other -- especially Cam Fowler, who had a bit of a staring problem as he was reading some pre-written questions taped to the camera -- they seemed to be pretty amazed by the experience.

"Hope the girls were watching," said Seguin.

-- Adam Kimelman

In the Hawks' room
6.04.2010 / 12:58 p.m. ET

As much fun as the propsects had in the Flyers' locker room, it might have been better in the Hawks' room. They had barely entered the room when Jonathan Toews came up and introduced himeself.

"Professional," said Seguin.

Connolly got to meet Dustin Byfuglien, who he watched when Byfuglien played for Connolly's hometown Prince George Cougars.

Patrick Kane came by to talk to Cam Fowler. Kane and Fowler both went through the USNTDP before jumping to the OHL.

"We Americans have to stick together," said Kane.

Fowler also talked briefly with Duncan Keith and Adam Burish.

After the Chicago room, the players were taken to the interview area to meet the media.

It's time for lunch, so we'll be back in a bit.

-- Adam Kimelman

Rare visit
06.04.2010 / 12:02 p.m. ET

Being in an NHL locker room isn't that unique for Taylor Hall, Cam Fowler and Tyler Seguin -- their junior teams practiced at Joe Louis Arena this season and they got the full tours.

But for Brett Connolly, well, playing and living in Prince George, B.C. , it's not often he gets to a big-league building. He said he's been to one game, in Calgary, one game in Edmonton, and one game in Vancouver -- 9 hours from home.

He was taking pictures and I asked him if he was focusing on anyone in particular, he said no, he was just soaking in the whole experience.

-- Adam Kimelman

In the Flyers' room
06.04.2010 / 11:47 a.m. ET

The top prospects got a guided tour of the Flyers locker room. The wide-eyed looks and hushed voices showed their awe - even thought they'll likely be in an NHL room of their own next year.

When they went into the equipment room, they met Chris Pronger, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell.

Seguin was most impressed by Briere after seeing him in person and out of uniform. "It's amazing how he's that size and so fast," said Seguin.

Meeting Pronger was an event. Gudbranson said, "He's huge." Seguin quickly responded, "No, you're huge. He's huger."

Off to watch the Hawks skate.

-- Adam Kimelman

On to the next stop
06.04.2010 / 11:04 a.m. ET

After their visit with Don Cherry, Hall and Seguin visited with Michael Landsberg of TSN's Off The Record, while Connolly, Gudbranson and Fowler watched practice.

Gudbranson, all 6-foot-4 of him, was keeping a close eye on 5-10 Claude Giroux. Giroux grew up in Hearst, near Gudbranson's home in Orleans, Ont. Giroux played for the Orleans Grads for a short time.

The next stop is the Philadelphia locker room once the Flyers are done on the ice.

-- Adam Kimelman

Top Prospects in Philly for Game 4
06.04.2010 / 10:38 a.m. ET

The top prospects for the 2010 Entry Draft have arrived for their day at the Stanley Cup Final.

To start the day, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Brett Connolloy, Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson are watching the Flyers' morning skate and being interviewed by the CBC's Don Cherry.

Connolly was especially excited to meet Cherry, as he missed his chance at January's Top Prospect's Game. will be following the prospects around today and tonight, when they'll be joined by their dads to watch tonight's game. So click back often for their day's adventures.

-- Adam Kimelman

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