Pre-Draft Notes: Thursday, June 21st

By Mark Fischel

As the sky opened up and dropped buckets of rain on humid South Florida, the most immediate effect was the extinguishing of brush fires near the NCRC. While the draft was never truly in danger of being cancelled, it would have made a nice story for all the visiting journalists, as they drove the beautiful arena with its backdrop of think dense black smoke blocking out the sun.

On the agenda today for the NHL and the media-crazed atmosphere, was shuttling a few top prospects to the twin-ice facility known as Incredible Ice, 7 miles north of Sunrise in Coral Springs…..TOP PROSPECTS HOCKEY CLINIC

No.1 Ranked prospect Jason Spezza, No. 4 ranked Mike Komisarek, and No. 5 ranked R.J. Umberger took part in an ice hockey clinic for members of the Coconut Grove Kings Hockey Program.

This program was presented by the NHL Diversity Task Force and was led by none other than Willie O’Ree, with help from Florida Panther Peter Worrell. About 35 local youths, some quite talented and some working on their skills, got the opportunity to skate around with and work on drills with the fore-mentioned prospects.

All 3 prospects seemed to have a great time just enjoying the ice, without having to worry about what will become probably the biggest day in their lives to this point, which is only 2 days away. Getting away from the media crush, they thought they might have been safe on the ice, but with all the kids skating around….it might not have been the safest place.

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow Denis Potvin will be hosting the Top Prospects Preview in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, in which 12 of the top players will be introduced to the local fans. Immediately following will be a Media luncheon. If time permits, I will post another article tommorow covering all of these events with random notes and a full breakdown of how much food certain members of the media were able to eat.

Random Notes and Disclaimers

Hockey’s Future will not be providing up to the minute draft tracking. NHL rules stipulate that electronic media can update status of the draft only at a “reasonable periodic basis”. This means that no HF staff will provide up to the minute “real-time” pick by pick coverage. HF will post the picks about every 15-20 picks.

What we will be providing is in-depth coverage and as many interviews and transcripts as possible, for all 9 rounds of the draft. This will include quotes from players, agents, coaches, scouts, and front-office personell. If media luminaries are available and wish to go on record, they will be included as well.