A night of laughter at the All-Star Fantasy Draft
Columbus, Ohio – The 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft harkens back to those days on the school yard when the pressure was intense to choose the right players to beat the other team. And when it was all over, no one wanted to be the last player picked. Except for Alex Ovechkin… he wanted the car.
41 players were divvied up between Team Foligno and Team Toews. It what seemed to be a new twist, the players were ‘celebrating’ in the green room as they awaited their turn to be selected. This only added to the likability factor of the event.
The laughter was infectious and started with the two captains, Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews. Both had comedic value to being on this stage, yet showed they were having fun with the entire process. Foligno won the puck toss and selected another hometown player with his first pick in Ryan Johansen.
Right from the start, Ovechkin was lobbying to be picked last, even going so far as to post pictures of signs stating this to his Instagram account. The last player picked gets a free car; in this case it was a 2015 Honda Accord.
Alas, Team Foligno dashed his hopes of getting that new car by selecting him with their penultimate pick.
A new twist for this years’ fantasy draft was the possibility of a trade. Revisiting the real-life trade of Phil Kessel for draft picks that turned into Tyler Seguin, Team Foligno drafted, and then traded Seguin for Kessel. The boisterous laughter rang throughout the convention center as the trade was announced by Nick Foligno by saying, "It’s worked out in the past."
Filip Forsberg wound up being the last player picked, and yet the NHL decided to give away two cars. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ended up with the other car. By doing this, they made the last player picked seem more like an episode of the Oprah show. ‘You get a car! You get a car! And you get a car!’
The bottom line was this became a fun evening for both the players and the fans. Even the assembled media, cynical most times about what makes a good All-Star event, were laughing heartily throughout the evening. And really, isn’t having fun with this event what it’s really all about?
Team Foligno: (Nick Foligno, Patrick Kane, Drew Doughty): Ryan Johansen (CBJ), Duncan Keith (CHI), Anze Kopitar (LAK), Steven Stamkos (TBL), Tyler Seguin (DAL), Carey Price (MTL), Claude Giroux (PHI), Dustin Byfuglien (WPG), Marc Andre-Fleury (PIT), Brian Elliott (STL), Brent Burns (SJS), Kevin Shattenkirk (STL), Bobby Ryan (OTT), Radim Vrbata (VAN), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARZ), Zemgus Girgensons (BUF), Alex Ovechkin (WSH), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)
Team Toews: (Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash): Phil Kessel (TOR), Shea Weber (NSH), Jake Voracek (PHI), Corey Crawford (CHI), John Tavares (NYI), Roberto Luongo (FLA), Brent Seabrook (CHI), Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), Patrice Bergeron (BOS), Jaroslav Halak (NYI), Aaron Ekblad (FLA), Patrick Elias (NJD), Ryan Suter (MIN), Mark Giordano (CGY), Justin Faulk (CAR), Tyler Johnson (TBL), Filip Forsberg (NSH)