Saturday, June 26, 2010

2010 NHL Draft Weekend Day 1: Prospects Clinic at Toyota Center in El Segundo.

Since the day the NHL announced that the 2010 Entry Draft would be held in Los Angeles, A.J. and I had planned to attend as many events as possible. The plan was that we would go to all of the festivities and mingle with the NHL players, coaches and Media. These are the people whom we admire from afar and never ever get the chance to see in person unless we attend a game. Even then, access is restricted and you have to act like a stalker just to get a photo op or an autograph. Our plan was to get out there and hopefully get some pictures and even a few autographs.

At Toyota Center

We had originally heard that the Prospects Clinic was closed to the public. When I got home on Wednesday night, I found that the clinic was open to the public and that a few of the top prospects would be there. I thought it would be pretty crowded, so we got there early to beat the crowds. When we arrived, there was plenty of parking available, so we parked and made our way towards the arena. There were a few photographers and a couple fans hanging around outside, so we hung out with them on the steps to the facility. While we were standing there, Luc Robitaille goes walking past. A couple people said Hi and he said hello. Nobody rushed him and it looked as if he was leaving. Then he came walking past again and went back in the building. He came right back out and I told A.J., "Now's your chance". A.J. approached him and got Luc to sign his Kings puck. Below is the pic.

                                   A.J. and Luc

A few minutes later, the Prospects began to arrive. There were 5 players who were present. Taylor Hall (#1 overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers), Tyler Seguin (#2 overall pick by the Boston Bruins), Eric Gudbranson (#3 overall pick by the Florida Panthers), Cam Fowler (#12 overall pick by the Anaheim Ducks) and Emerson Etem (#29 overall pick also by the Anaheim Ducks). The players took to the ice with about 50 kids ranging from about 5 to around 12 years old and went through some drills and played a short scrimmage at the end. They stayed on the rink for about 45 minutes and the kids had a great time. We had a great location to observe and I got a few good shots, considering we were behind the Plexiglas. After the clinic, the players were whisked away in a van and off to other media events. These kids have got to be dog-tired at the end of this week. Below are a few shots I took at the clinic.

                                  Taylor Hall and Eric Gudbranson

                               Tyler Seguin

                        Cam Fowler (L) and Emerson Etem (R)

                                Taylor Hall

                                    Eric Gubranson

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