NEWARK -- Amazingly, the 2013 NHL draft, in which all seven rounds were done in one day, actually finished ahead of schedule.
Slated to end at 10:30 p.m., I suspected it might drag on into January, in honour of the lockout that necessitated it. Instead, it wrapped up at 10:03 p.m, as the Chicago Blackhawks made the 211th and final pick.
That pick: defenceman Robin Press of the Swedish Elite League, who earns the dubious title of hockey's Mr. Irrelevant.
Sadly, hockey doesn't share the same great tradition as the NFL of making a big deal about Mr. Irrelevant (unless it's the All-Star game draft, and there are precious, precious egos to salvage). In the National Football League, the last pick and his family are invited to spend a week in Newport Beach for a golf tournament, a roast, and a ceremony in which the kid is awarded the Lowsman trophy. It's like the Heisman, but the player is fumbling the football.
It's all very hilarious. Hockey should do it.
Press joins a surprisingly decent crop of Misters Irrelevant. Among the last picks to make a name for themselves despite being passed over by literally everybody: Patric Hornqvist, taken 230th overall by Nashville in 2005, Jonathan Ericsson, who went 291st overall to Detroit in 2002, Kim Johnsson, selected 286th overall to the Rangers in 1994, and Paul Maurice, the 252nd pick of 1985.
Granted, Maurice made his name in coaching.
Anyway. Here's hoping Press makes it to the NHL, just to make everybody feel bad about this.