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SUNRISE, Fla. – While Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and the Boston Bruins’ front office received the most attention at the 2015 NHL Draft, there was another annual tradition we here at Puck Daddy had our eyes on in Sunrise, Fla.:
The 2015 NHL Draft awkward rookie photographs!
We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014. Alas, over time, the NHL and its photo editors have sucked much of the fun out of the posed images. Not a single one of Jack Eichel leaping through a curtain to scare us!
Luckily, there’s still plenty of awkward to go around. Join us, won’t you, in celebrating moments like Mitchell Marner attempting to fend off a sentient and carnivorous Toronto Maple Leafs jersey?
And here … we … go.
10. Nicholas Merkley, No. 30 overall, Arizona Coyotes
“OMG THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE PLAYING IN QUEBEC CITY!!!”
9. Jesper Lindgren, No. 95 overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jesper Lindgren shows off what had Toronto Maple Leafs’ scouts raving: His 17-foot right arm.
8. Noah Juulsen, No. 26 overall, Montreal Canadiens
“Hey girl. I know you see me over here, grippin’ this stick. It’s like I wanna hold you girl. All snuggly on my cheek and such. Yeaaaaah, that’s right, baby. You my CCM. My Cool Cuddily Mama.”
7. Jake DeBrusk, No. 14, Boston Bruins
Onlookers were stunned when The Joker’s Smilex gas filled the room during Jake DeBrusk’s photo shoot …
6. Travis Dermott, No. 34, Toronto Maple Leafs
“No Travis, here, lemme show ya. Pick anyone in the crowd. There, that guy. Now stare. Stare deep into his soul with your dead eyes. Keep doin’ it. Keep starin’. A little longer … aaaaaand didya see it? I made his head explode my mind. Blood and brains are all over the people of Section 107, like they just attended a GWAR concert or sumthin’. And THAT’S what gets you six years and $50 million in this world, son.”
5. Jeremy Roy, No. 31 overall, San Jose Sharks
Jeremy Roy of the San Jose Sharks somehow finds the perfect equilibrium between the curve of his blade and that of his coif.
4. Jeremy Bracco, No. 61, Toronto Maple Leafs
Awwwww ... 11-year-old Jeremy Bracco decided to go as Tomas Kaberle for Halloween.
3. Evgeny Svechnikov, No. 19 overall, Detroit Red Wings
In all our years of doing this bit, Evgeny Svechnikov is the first true “hockey smile” we’ve had. Kudos on your gap control, sir.
“Mitch, right? OK, here, lemme show ya what I showed that other kid. Pick anyone in the crowd. Now keep starin’…”
2. Jack Eichel, No. 2, Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel struggles to put on his Sabres sweater, later discovering it had been tailored for Connor McDavid.
1. Mikko Rantanen, No. 10 overall, Colorado Avalanche and Lawson Crouse, Florida Panthers, No. 11 overall
“HAHAHAHA … they got WHAT for Dougie Hamilton?!”
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