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The 10 most awkward NHL Draft rookie photographs (Gallery)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
Panthers take Ekblad with No. 1 pick in NHL draft
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Aaron Ekblad pulls on a Florida Panthers sweater after being chosen first overall in the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA – There are certain traditions that accompany the annual NHL Draft every offseason. Like pretending to know who the heck any of these people are, let alone their obscure Canadian junior teams. Like deciding whether to hug mom or dad first, and whether to hug Charles Wang at all. Like booing the ever-loving crap out of Gary Bettman.

And, of course, the annual rite that is the Awkward Rookie Photo Gallery. 

We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011 and 2012 and 2013. Sadly, once again, the poses are of a rather conservative variety; where have you gone, Kirill Kabonov and the magic curtain?

(More to the point: Where have you gone, Kirill Kabonov? Can we put him and Nikita Filatov in a reality show about two Russian knuckleheads trying to make it back to the NHL?)

(#TrueDetectiveSeason2 …)

Here are the 10 most awkward NHL Draft rookie photographs. Please keep in mind this is all in good fun, and prepare to weep for today’s youth …

And here … we … go.

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

10. Miles Gendron, Ottawa Senators

One of the poses for this year's rookies was the classic "grip the stick" shot. Gendron was one of the only players to fondle the knob. Forget for a moment that his intimidation face is that of a hungry puppy caught in a drizzle; why does he look like he's about to belt out "Evenflow"? 

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

9. Beau Starrett, Chicago Backhawks

Hey, it's that overzealous intern that sorta looks like Jim Parsons! ("Coffee? Of course sir! Let me just book a flight to Columbia to harvest the beans myself!")

We're fans of this shot not only because Starrett looks slightly stiffer than an oak trunk, but because the angle of his body makes it look like he's about to lift off like Iron Man.

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Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

8. Nikolay Goldobin, San Jose Sharks

"A gentleman ALWAYS keeps his pinkie finger extended whilst gripping a hockey puck."

He either looks:

1. Like he found this in his pants. 

2. Like he picked up something he's never seen before. And if he's a Sharks prospect, wouldn't that thing be a game program from the Stanley Cup Final?

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

7. Kevin Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers

We're assuming the stage direction on this photo was "show us the last thing we'll see before we die."

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 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

6. Roland McKeown, Los Angeles Kings

Oh, Roland. A little Paul F. Tompkins, a dash of Perez Hilton, and all "HELLLLLLOOOOOO LAAAADIES."

But that's not the reason Roland McKeown is on thist list, nor is that the photo that got him here.

It's this one:

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

In which Roland McKeon appears to be wearing a small LA Kings camping tent (and/or one of Dustin Penner's leftovers). The reason he looks like a Weeble is because he's holding a stick, athought it's difficult to see it; as it stands, McKeon resembles a Hockey Buddah, or at the very least one played by Paul F. Tompkins. 

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

5. Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks

"WHY ... SO.... SERIOUS?!?!?!"

At the very least Virtanen looks like someone hit with The Joker's SMILEX gas, if not the Joker himself. Let's hope he didn't face the untimely fates of models Candy Walker and Amanda Keeler. (Pulled those two names by memory; happy anniversary, Tim Burton's BATMAN.) 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Third overall pick Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Third overall pick Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers poses for a portrait during …

4. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

Oh, wait, sorry, this isn't from the draft. This is his professional headshot from his audition to be a henchman in the next DIE HARD movie ...

Have you ever seen anyone caress their chin with the gentle touch of industrial-grade pliers? 

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Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

3. Brendan Lemieux, Buffalo Sabres

Just in case there were any lingering questions about this being Claude Lemieux's kid, Brendan Lemieux presents his "I just hooked your larynx!" face.

Expect to see this face a lot in the regular season, followed by his goal-scoring face in the postseason, followed by his "PAY ME OR TRADE ME" face in the offseason ...

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Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

2. Reid Duke, Minnesota Wild

There are going to be some of you that look at this photo of Duke and be like, "What's the big deal, it's not like he's trying to control my mind through some sort of Dwight Schrute-like telepathy ..."

But gaze into this eyes and tell us you're not a little disturbed. 

Even a little.

Just maybe a tad. 

Seriously. 

Anyone else feeling a little dizzy?

Maybe a little ... a little sleepy ...

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WE LIVE TO SERVE YOU MASTER!!!!!!!!

And finally, we don't care this isn't a glamour shot, because it's clearly the most awkward shot of the 2014 NHL Draft:

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Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

1. Sonny Milano, Columbus Blue Jackets

TAAAAAA-DAAAAAA!

That awkward moment when Jarmo Kekalainen ring-tosses your jersey onto your head. 

Good luck to all the 2014 NHL Draftees, and congrats.  

 

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