"I remember waking up that morning knowing what teams were interested, but didn't know where I was going to go," Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic told NHL.com. "The teams I thought were most interested were Los Angeles and Nashville, but I ended up [in Boston]."
Lucic, a native of Vancouver, had about 17 family members supporting him at General Motors Place. He recalled having brunch with his agent at 11 a.m. that morning before heading over for the draft, which started at 1 p.m. local time.
"To be perfectly honest, what I remember most is the Kings having the 48th pick and they took a kid named Joey Ryan in the spot where I thought I would go," Lucic said. "When I didn't go, I didn't really pay attention after that, and then, all of a sudden, my parents and grandparents heard my name called. After all that … I never even heard my name."
The Bruins selected Lucic with the 50th pick, a little over four hours into the draft. "I guess it was all nice to get it done in one day," Lucic said. "This way those guys going early were able to celebrate a little longer into the evening."
Brad Marchand, Lucic's teammate in Boston, didn't attend the draft but can recall vividly surrounding a little computer with over 100 family members at his home in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, while selections were being made.
"I thought two teams were really interested, the [New York] Islanders and the Bruins," Marchand told NHL.com. "My coaches at Moncton [in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League] that year, Ted Nolan, Daniel Lacroix and Danny Flynn, were all going to be the coaches of the Islanders the following year, and I had been speaking to the Bruins' staff throughout the year, so I thought it would be between those two teams."
The Islanders selected forward Robin Figren in the third round, with the 70th pick, and the Bruins took Marchand with the very next pick.
"We had to keep refreshing the computer to get an update on the draft picks; it was nerve-racking," Marchand said. "Every time we refreshed, more guys would be drafted. Finally, the third round came around and the Islanders and Bruins were choosing back-to-back. I think my grandfather looked back at the computer and said, 'It's Boston,' and we all went into an uproar. Boston traded up for me and that was very exciting."
The Bruins had acquired the 71st pick the morning of the draft from the Islanders in exchange for fourth- and fifth-round picks in 2006. Marchand said that after being drafted, he immediately looked to see who the Bruins had taken ahead of him -- all forwards.
"I remember playing against [Lucic] in the Memorial Cup that year and he was a very tough kid to play against, a big body and good player," Marchand said. "I knew that he was a kid I would be battling against at camp and I wasn't too happy about it. Thing is, you always hope they draft guys at different positions so if you're a forward, you're hoping they draft defensemen. But [2006 first-round pick Phil] Kessel and Lucic were ahead of me, so I wasn't very happy about. It worked out OK in the long run."
Must be a great thrill to see your name come up. Refresh, refresh LOL