by Todd Anderson
The hopes and dreams of many young hockey prospects will be realized in Ottawa when Scotiabank Place hosts the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
It marks the second year that Ottawa will host the event.
Reigning Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was drafted first overall at the initial draft held at Ottawa's Westin Hotel in 2005. The Senators selected defenceman Brian Lee ninth overall with their first-round selection.
Senators vice-president of marketing Jeff Kyle says the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is another excellent opportunity to showcase the city, and, the organizing committee can also look back at the 2005 draft in preparation for next year.
"The 2005 draft was a good run-through for us heading into next year's event. This creates a real focus on Ottawa," Kyle says. "The No. 1 thing about hosting this is that it demonstrates our ability, as well as the city's ability, to showcase an event of this magnitude.
"This event will be open for fans who can come in and share the experience with some of the top young prospects in the world. We also expect to host a top prospects camp at the Bell Sensplex that will involve minor hockey players and will be open to the public."
To add even more interest, it's expected that several players drafted in 2008 in Ottawa will be in the same city in 2009 when Scotiabank Place and the Civic Centre host the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.