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The 10 most awkward 2012 NHL Draft rookie photographs

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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After NHL Draft selections are through with their guarded answers to the media, they disappear behind a curtain. That's where they're photographed in various poses with various backgrounds and various props. It's pretty much the third most awkward moments of the weekend, right behind determining the order of hugs upon hearing their names called and containing their disappointment in the team that selected them.

Once again, the images for this year's Craft don't match the bat-crap nutty poses from two years ago. But there were still some memorably odd images, both among the glamour shots and throughout the draft.

That includes No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers, taking a call from the KHL during his photo shoot. Or, perhaps, from Columbus GM Scott Howson, saying he wouldn't have drafted him anyway and then giving him a raspberry over the phone before asking him if he knew any good goaltenders.

Coming up, more awkward moments with draftees.

And here … we … go.

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"Focus … focus … what would P.K. do … OK, bad idea …"

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The Calgary Flames were stunned when they discovered first-round pick Mark Jankowski was actually in his second trimester.

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"Well, how old do you think I am …?"

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One of the motifs for this year's photographs was tossing the puck in the air with one's blade. Here's Dev Patel going under the name "Jujhar Khaira" and air-bending the puck.

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Other puck-tossing photos were a little less successful, such as when Pittsburgh Penguins pick Olli Maatta inadvertently became a pirate …

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… and Jake Paterson of the Detroit Red Wings entered the witness protection program. Or was attacked by evil cotton candy. One of the two.

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The other motif for the draft picks had them taping their blades in a virtual locker room. Most players went through the motions while the camera clicked. Oh, but not Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres, who went double-fingers and raised the tape up so the camera could catch his spiffy USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints championship ring. Pimp.

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The official "HELLO, MY NAME IS …" sign that every pick after the first round is mandated to carry around with them at all times, seen here with Mackenzie MacEachern of the St. Louis Blues. Poor bastards.

And finally …

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Mark Jankowski pulls off the rare Kirill Kabanov double feature: Getting a second photo into our countdown for being the only 2012 NHL Draft pick to flash a gang sign during his photo session. From the mean streets of Hamilton!

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