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Holding Court Before The Draft

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov, Hunter Shinkaruk, Sean Monahan, Jonathan Drouin, Zach Fucale, Seth Jones and Darnell Nurse pose for a photo during the Top Prospects Media Availabilty at Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel on June 28, 2013 in Weehawken, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Sitting with the picturesque New York City skyline behind them, eight of the top 2013 NHL Draft picks met the media for Friday's Media Availability. It was a chance for them to reflect on past seasons, the future playing in the pros and of course where they might be playing after being selected in Sunday's Draft at the Prudential Center.

For those eight it was just part of an experience that only keeps getting better.

"(I'm) finally in New York for the draft," said No. 2 ranked North American Skater Nathan MacKinnon. "I've been thinking about this day coming up for a little while. Definitely a little sureal that it's coming up. I'm very excited."

"It’s been a crazy experience," added No. 5 ranked NA skater Sean Monahan. "It’s something I’ve been looking forward to. It’s obviously a special time. It’s the NHL draft and having my family here and some friends, it’s good to share that with them."

With Sunday's draft on the horizon, there was a lot of posturing by the media, especially with Colorado throwing out word they were leaning on taking MacKinnon with the No. 1 selection.

"It was (a surprise). You hear so much stuff about Seth (Jones) and how he’s a perfect fit but I guess you kind of forget that you’re in the mix too," said MacKinnon. "But it was pretty cool to hear, especially two Hall of Famers saying good things about you is pretty special...but I don’t want to get my hopes up. A lot could change."

For the longest time, national pundits thought that the Avalanche would take No. 1 NA skater, Seth Jones. And they still may but for Jones, going No. 2 isn't too bad either.

"(Going) No. 1 is very special," said Jones. "But Chris Pronger was No. 2. Drew Doughty has been No. 2 so there’s been a lot of good defensemen or players in general that have gone on to have great careers."

With the Panthers currently holding the second pick, they're still going to get a great player.

“I’m not going to be surprised at any of the three-four players that could go No. 1,” said Marr. “That order is completely up in the air and the teams that are making the choices, it’s going to be a difficult choice but going to be a great one for their franchise.”

Marr and the top prospects (at least most of them) are just anxious to find out what jersey they’ll be slipping on come Sunday.

“I don’t think you think about it that much,” said No. 3 ranked North American Skater Jonathan Drouin. “Obviously I just want to be in a great organization. I think that’s what’s going to happen Sunday.”

“Not at all,” said No. 1 ranked European Skater Aleksander Barkov. “It happens once in your lifetime and I’ll enjoy it.”

And wherever they get selected is obviously only the beginning.

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