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Magee babies selected in Penguins newborn draft

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Before the NHL Draft takes place in Dallas later this week, another draft happened in Pittsburgh this morning.

Bill Guerin, Phil Bourque and Paul Steigerwald hosted a newborn hockey draft at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC to celebrate the "It's a Great Day for a New Baby" program.

Six newborn babies were scouted for different titles while sporting crocheted black and gold skates and caps, which were handmade by Magee nurse Caitlin Pechin.

"We had to do our due diligence on all the kids," Guerin said. "Some of them were born this morning, we had to work quickly. But I think we made the right choices."

First up was Lina, who had the "Hottest Hands." Joked Guerin, "She did just raise her hands like she scored a goal, she looks like a goal scorer."

Next up was John, who was named "Strongest Defender." "He looks physical," Guerin said. "He looks a little bit ticked off," Bourque added with a laugh. "He's not going to be fun to play against. He looks like he'll be a good shot blocker."

Jacob was given "Best Hockey Smile" - which garnered a lot of jokes about missing teeth. Eli was awarded "Eat-Sleep-Cry Hat Trick Specialist." Madilyn was named "Top Prospect" and Stella had "Fastest Feet."

"I'm extremely proud," said Stella's dad Chris. "She's only a few days old and she's already making us proud. She'll be a great part of the team. If she's not hungry (laughs)."

The event was an exciting and creative way to add to the partnership between the Penguins and Magee-Womens Hospital, which is the organization's official women's health provider.

"The talent is promising. Some budding superstars out there possibly, girls and boys," Bourque said. "You never know. There's been a few kids born in Pittsburgh that have made it in the NHL, made it as a Pittsburgh Penguin, girls hockey is as strong as it's ever been with the Olympics and World Championships. It's kind of humbling to come in here and see these young kids. It's a special moment. I wish they had something like this when I was a kid."

The "It's a Great Day for a New Baby" program is relaunching on July 1, and every baby born at Magee-Womens Hospital will receive a Penguins onesie, a hooded towel and washcloth set and a chalkboard that can be used to highlight a baby's monthly milestones.

"We're just kicking off our third season going into the event," said Jeff Hodges, vice president of patient services at Magee-Womens Hospital. "Making sure every baby that's born here at Magee over the next 12 months will receive one of the little Penguins kits. We've had about 20,000 births over the last two years, so we've had 20,000 new Pens fans added to the family, and we're looking forward to another fun, exciting season."

Video: Guerin, Bourque and Steigerwald host newborn draft

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