COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn’t have to wait this long the last time he was drafted. Nashville Predators rookie forward Filip Forsberg suddenly has another new car to go with the Jaguar he just bought two weeks ago.
The players had the distinction of being the last two selected in the NHL All-Star Game Draft on Friday night. And both were awarded a new car in a departure from the past two All-Star drafts, when only the last player selected earned the consolation prize.
“You don’t get to do too many of these things, so you have to enjoy it, and it was a lot of fun,” said Nugent-Hopkins, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL amateur draft. “My last draft, I didn’t have to wait too long, so it was a little different.”
Nugent-Hopkins was actually the second-to-last player selected in an online fan poll taken during the draft. He will play for Team Foligno, named after Columbus Blue Jackets star Nick Foligno.
Forsberg was the last of the 45 players selected, and joins the team led by Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
Team Foligno and Team Toews will compete in the skills competition on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday.
Forsberg was one of six rookies selected to compete in the skills competition, before being added the All-Star roster on Thursday to fill in for injured Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
“Hopefully, I can plan in another All-Star Game and climb a couple of steps in the draft in the future,” said Forsberg, who leads NHL rookies with 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists). “And I got a car out of it. It’s not too bad either.”
He’s just not sure what to do with his growing car collection.
“I’ve got to talk to my family if they want a new car,” said the Swedish-born player. “You can never have too many cars, I guess.”
There was added drama as the draft reached the final two rounds, with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin openly campaigning to be the last pick by insisting he wanted to win the car.
“It was kind of funny that he was still there,” Forsberg said. “It would have been an honor to be drafted before Ovi.”
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