The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery – thanks to expert Taylor Hall – and with their first overall pick, they selected Nico Hischier. Nolan Patrick went second to the Philadelphia Flyers, and third selection, Miro Heiskanen, went to the Dallas Stars.
In previous years there has been a clear number one rookie (Auston Matthews and prior to that Connor McDavid), however there wasn’t a clear cut favourite between Nolan and Nico. The two rookies have been spending a great amount of time together in the weeks leading up to the draft and there was no animosity between the two as Nico just edged Nolan for the first spot. In doing so, he became the highest ever drafted Swiss player… and some may say it’s destiny.
Full draft results can be found here.
During February, the NHL hosted a “you can play” month whereby they declared that hockey was for everyone. One of the prospects in this year’s draft is Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who was raised by two mothers. Nancy and Fran met whilst playing hockey, and had Jaret skating at 18 months old.
Anderson-Dolan is expected to be picked by the second round. He had a 70 point season with the Spokane Chiefs. Whilst at pre-season camp, he was invited to participate in VO2 testing – to measure the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to muscles. This is usually reserved for veterans, but Jaret, at 16 years old, had a test number in the mid 60s and not a single other player reached 60 – then in his second season with the Chiefs, he hit high 60s which is generally the highest score in the NHL combine.
The player is hard working, eats organically, and studies sport psychology (good lad), and during “hockey is for everyone” ensured his stick was taped with the rainbow pride tape. The entire team followed suit despite issues with the tape being poor quality and breaking some players’ superstitions about their equipment.
In a sport where trashtalking is the norm, he has faced backlash over his two mothers in the past. Whilst going through the WHL bantam draft, he was told by some teams that they would not take him because of his two mothers. But sure, hockey is for everyone, right?
“I can’t change people’s opinions. If that’s how they feel about it, I’d honestly rather not be in that organization if they’re going to be like that. I’d rather be in an organization with the Chiefs where they support it completely. Maybe that ended up with me falling in the draft a little bit, but I don’t really care, honestly. I’m proud of my moms. I’m proud of my uncles, my aunties, everyone I know that is openly gay. I have no shame about it, and neither do they.”
Good luck to Jaret in the lead up to the draft and beyond. He’s sure to be a great representative of the sport!