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BLOG: Top prospects place their bets at batting practice

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

MIAMI, FL - A handful of the top prospects for this year’s NHL Draft attended a batting practice at Marlins Park in Miami, FL on Wednesday.

Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin, Mitch Marner and Lawson Crouse all took some swings at the plate. Crouse and Hanifin had the upper hand, as the two played baseball when they were younger. One underdog was Marner, who apparently didn’t have the faith of his peers.

“I know Stromer was saying he thought I wasn’t going to get it out of the infield,” said Marner. “He thought I was only going to be able to get it to the bases and that’s about it. I know a couple of guys were going against him on that one. Nothing too serious, just joking around with each other.”

The top prospects pose for the cameras at Marlins Park.

Marner and Strome are good friends and have known each other for a while.

“That was a bet, but he was pretty good actually,” said Strome. “I don’t think he was the worst one. Maybe he’s not the biggest guy but he really is a tremendous player. He did pretty well out there.”

As the smallest prospect there, Marner did pretty well.

“I wasn’t too good but I think I out-did at least one of the guys, hopefully. I guess we’ll see. We’re giving it to each other about who did better. At the end it’s all fun. That’s what it’s all about,” said Marner.

Another wager was who might be able to hit the ball out of the park. The big power forward Crouse was the lone player to hit a home run.

“Eichel had a bet going with that,” said Hanifin. “I think he got one out of the outfield. That was about it. We did have a bet who was going to hit one out. I think Lawson won that one.”

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