That was just the start of a busy day at the home of the New Jersey Devils, who gave a jam-packed crowd a reason to cheer when the announced they acquired goaltender Cory Schneider from Vancouver. Schneider seems in line to be the eventual successor to Martin Brodeur in net.
The rest of the teams were busy planning their future through the draft.
The Florida Panthers made center Aleksander Barkov, the top-ranked European skater, the second overall pick.
Tampa Bay took forward Jonathan Drouin, also out of Halifax, with the third overall pick.
Carolina selected Elias Lindholm, who played in Sweden, fifth and the Calgary Flames followed with center Sean Monahan from Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Buffalo Sabres took Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with the eighth overall pick.
The New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center are hosting the draft for the first time. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was drowned out by boos each time he took the podium. But he finally heard cheers when he announced the Devils were on the clock. It became louder when Bettman announced the Devils traded the ninth pick to Vancouver for Schneider.
“I think you guys are gonna want to hear this,” Bettman said.
Schneider was on the market once the Canucks were unable to dump high-priced goalie Roberto Luongo.
The Canucks then selected center Bo Horvat, of London (OHL), with the ninth pick. The Dallas Stars selected forward Valeri Nichushkin, of Russia, with the 10th pick.