|Vincent Lecavalier (Photo: Getty Images) |
Montreal’s Bell Center will house the 2009 NHL Entry Draft this weekend as premiere prospects – including top-ranked John Tavares and Victor Hedman – find their hockey homes.
But in 1998 it was the Queen City that hosted NHL royalty, and it was Vincent Lecavalier that generated most of the buzz.
Surprising few, the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted the center as the first overall pick in the draft at Marine Midland Arena – now HSBC Arena – in Buffalo.
Lecavalier was the first player from Quebec Major Junior League to be selected first overall since Alexandre Daigle in 1993. He also followed Joe Thornton (taken by the Boston Bruins in 1997) as the second consecutive centerman taken with the top pick.
"He's not a patsy by any stretch of the imagination," Central Scouting’s Frank Bonellosaid of the forward at the time of the draft. "When they want to play it tough, he's right there and he's been known to put the stick around a guy's face just to let him know what's around the corner."
Click on the video below to watch a clip of 1998 NHL Entry Draft, or click here
to see the Buffalo Sabres draft history.