The 10 most awkward 2017 NHL Draft rookie photos

CHICAGO – It’s once again time for that Puck Daddy tradition, “The 10 Most Awkward NHL Draft Rookie Photos,” and surprisingly many of them don’t involve a tiny ‘lil Gary Bettman at a big ‘ol podium.

The 2017 NHL Draft, sadly, has followed in the recent tradition of not posing these young men with their sticks raised or with some weird lighting or other photo booth accouterment. We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and 2016, and you can see this unfortunate progression over time.

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But do we still have some awkward photos? You darn right we do. Here are some from the NHL Draft in Chicago.

And here … we … go:

Tomas Vomacka, Nashville Predators (154th overall)

That awkward moment when you realize that Adidas totally [expletive’d] up your team’s new sweaters.

Evan Barratt, Chicago Blackhawks (90th overall)

We literally can’t wait for the before-and-after photo of Evan Barratt after a few years in the NHL because those teeth are going to be like a damn piñata for opponents’ sticks. While we don’t wish harm on anyone … Chicklets will be spit. It is your destiny.

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils (1st overall)

“Mr. Bettman so now will dere be a Swiss team in da World Cup of Hockey next time?”


Yeaaaaaaaaaaah, about that…”

Noel Hoefenmayer, Arizona Coyotes (108th overall)

It’s appropriate he’ll be playing in the desert, as it appears his hair is having some kind of solar flare at the moment.

Jocktan Chainey, New Jersey Devils (191st overall)

The bowtie is an interesting choice.

(Opens the door)

“Oh, hello!”

“Say, did you ladies wanna play some … hockey?”

(Bachelorette Party screams in unison)

Ryan Poehling, Montreal Canadiens (25th overall)

We’re not saying that Ryan Poehling is actually a 35-year-old man. We’re just saying that the Canadiens might have just pulled some Little League World Series birth certificate [expletive] on us.


Does that make us a Ryan Poehling birther? Many people are saying it does. Many people.

Kirill Maximov, Edmonton Oilers (146th overall)

“What? YOU CAN TALK!? Wait … don’t want me to hit you with my stick? But that’s literally my job now! I know you have a family Pucky but I may have one too one day and …”

Filip Westerlund, Arizona Coyotes (44th overall)

That awkward moment when you realize you’re older than the man who drafted you.

Zachary Lauzon, Pittsburgh Penguins (51st overall)

In a world of conservative dress shirts and subtle gingham, we celebrate you, Zachary Lauzon, for being bold enough to select one of the single ugliest shirts ever stitched together for draft day. At best, it’s the bathroom rug of a goth hipster in Marrakech. At worst, it looks like a TV station that went off the air in the 1980s, to the point where we were a little concerned that a ghost might emerge from your shirt and take poor little Carol Anne to the other side.


And finally…

Timothy Liljegren, Toronto Maple Leafs (17th overall)

FINALLY, some hockey hair up in this hockey draft! Look at that sweet Leafy salad, billowing in the air like angels’ wings. Jagr looks at this thing and briefly wonders about paternity.

When he was available at No. 17, it didn’t take long for the Leafs to mullet it over and take him, for obvious reasons.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.