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NHL Draft

Clark among 14 NHL sons selected in Draft

Forward picked by Capitals at No. 47, joins Sutter, Samuelsson, Drury in latest class

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

Wendel Clark was mowing the lawn at his Muskoka cottage two hours north of Toronto on Saturday when his son Kody came running out.

"Dad, Dad, I've been drafted by the Washington Capitals," Kody said.

For Wendel, it was a moment that will be etched in time forever.


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Wendel was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the No. 1 pick in the 1985 NHL Draft and became one of the most iconic players in Maple Leafs history the moment he put on their blue-and-white sweater. He had 441 points (260 goals, 181 assists) in 608 games for Toronto and played with a physical zeal that has made him a fan favorite to this day. His place in Maple Leafs folklore is enshrined by a statue on Legends Row outside of Air Canada Centre.

On this day, all that took a back seat to Kody, a two-way forward who was selected by the Capitals in the second round (No. 47) in the 2018 NHL Draft.

"It was great," Wendel said in a phone interview. "It's an awesome day when the young guy gets a chance to keep living his dream and goes to a team in Washington that just won it all. Hey, he got closer to a Stanley Cup than I did.

"It's more exciting in a way than when I got picked. It's part of being a dad."

Kody isn't the same type of rough-and-tumble player as his dad, who had 1,690 penalty minutes in 793 NHL games.

"He's a very smart player who stills growing: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds right now," Wendel said. "A great skating hockey player who's just coming into his own. I think his best years are ahead of him.

"We didn't know what round he would go in, so with the unpredictability we decided to stay up here rather than go to Dallas."

Kody, a right wing, had 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 56 games for Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

"It was a pretty up-and-down year for me. I had some good spurts and some not-so-good ones," Kody said. "My representatives didn't know where I'd go, so I was surprised when I got the call so early."

Was it difficult to grow up in southern Ontario with such a famous father?

"I think it was a positive," Kody said. "I saw how hard he worked and how hard he works every day. Little things that don't have anything to do with hockey. It's taught me how hard you have to work to make it.

"I've seen how everyone in the city of Toronto looks up to him and it definitely gave me a lot of will and motivation to make it."

However, Kody wasn't the only player drafted by the Capitals with strong hockey ties. Washington also selected forward Riley Sutter, son of former NHL center Ron Sutter, in the third round (No. 93).

Video: Recapping Day 2 of the NHL Draft

"Bloodlines. We got a couple of them, didn't we," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. "It should be an interesting dads trip next season with all these ex-NHL players. It should be a lot of fun.

"I don't know Wendel that well. We played against each other in the 1980s. Tough guy. I don't think [Kody] plays the same way. I don't think the Department of Player Safety would allow that," he joked.

Riley Sutter had 96 points (46 goals, 50 assists) in 166 games during three seasons with Everett of the Western Hockey League.

"I come from a competitive family, with my dad and uncles having played, so I know what to expect," Riley said.

Kody Clark and Riley Sutter were two of the 14 players selected in the draft whose fathers also played in the NHL. Among the other prominent members of that group were Mattias Samuelsson, Jack Drury and Tyler Madden.

Samuelsson (No. 32, Buffalo Sabres), a defenseman, is the son of former NHL defenseman Kjell Samuelsson, who played 813 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Drury (No. 42, Carolina Hurricanes), a center, is the son of former NHL forward Ted Drury, who played 414 NHL games with the Calgary Flames, Hartford Whalers, Ottawa Senators, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets. Jack's uncle Chris Drury, a forward, had 615 points (255 goals, 360 assists) in 892 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Flames, Buffalo Sabres and Rangers.

Madden (No. 68, Vancouver Canucks), a center, is the son of former NHL forward John Madden, a three-time Stanley Cup champion who played 898 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers.

"My dad doesn't show a lot of emotion, but he leaned over and told me he loved me when I was picked," Tyler Madden said.

There was a lot of that going on Saturday.

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