Swedes, centers dominate top of NHL draft

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“If I do go back to junior, I won’t be disappointed at all,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “It’ll be a great opportunity for us as Red Deer as a team to hopefully get to the Memorial Cup. Personally, it’ll be a good development year for me, too. But my goal right now is to make the Oilers.”

Jonathan Huberdeau, a center from Quebec, was taken third by the Panthers, who were also in the same slot for the second year in a row. Huberdeau was the MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs after getting three goals and three assists in four games for the Saint John’s Sea Dogs.

The New York Islanders chose center Ryan Strome of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs at No. 6. Strome was third in the league with 106 points in 65 games. Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo, a native of Minnesota, introduced Strome. The Islanders, too, were picking fifth for the second straight year.

Then came the big announcement by Winnipeg: The team will be called the Jets. Formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, the franchise waited until seconds before choosing center Mark Schiefele with the seventh selection to announce the new _ er, old _ nickname.

The Philadelphia Flyers, using the eighth pick they obtained in one of Thursday’s stunning trades, the one that sent leading scorer Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets, took center Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL at No. 8.

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton was drafted ninth by the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The son of an Olympic rower (dad) and basketball player (mom), Hamilton had 58 points in 67 games last season for Niagara in the OHL.

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