The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 1, 2013

Avalanche make MacKinnon first pick of NHL draft

(Continued)

NEWARK, N.J. —

The NHL had two black players picked in the top seven with Jones and Nurse.

McNabb was famously booed by Eagles fans in the 1999 draft and was hurt for years by the reaction. Nurse heard polite applause in Newark.

“We’re even, because he went higher than me,” Nurse said, “but I didn’t get booed at my draft.”

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 told the crowd.

Schneider was on the market once the Canucks were unable to dump high-priced goalie Roberto Luongo. Vancouver 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.

The Flyers bucked tradition with the 11th pick and drafted a defenseman, 6-foot-6, 203-pound Samuel Morin. He played for Rimouski of the QMJHL.

The Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks ended the first round by picking forward Ryan Hartman, of Plymouth (OHL), with the 30th pick.

Jones, who lived in Colorado as a youth and seemed a perfect fit for the Avalanche, has ties to Tennessee, as well. Popeye Jones owns a house there, and there is still family throughout the state.

“It’s a perfect spot for him,” Popeye Jones said, proudly. “He’ll be motivated there, and ready to go.”

Sakic gave Jones some advice on getting Seth more interested in hockey when they both played in Denver more than a decade ago. Popeye Jones later developed a friendship with Colorado goalie, and now coach, Patrick Roy.

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