There were a lot more fans at Staples Center today for the 2010 NHL Draft than I’d anticipated. The Kings fans are incredibly loyal, but the Kings didn’t have a high pick and no one was really sure how many fans would turn up. I certainly didn’t expect 11,000 fans (the approximate number the Kings mentioned) to show up on a Friday night in Los Angeles – especially when the Dodgers are in town playing the New York Yankees (who haven’t been here in years).
The crowd wasn’t as loud as other drafts (from what I’ve heard on TV and everyone I’ve talked to who normally attends the draft) except for when the Kings (cheering), Ducks (almost all boos, though there were definitely a lot of Ducks fans here), Sharks (all booing – especially with Rob Blake at their table), and Canucks (booing, since they knocked the Kings out of the playoffs) were doing something, the crowd was relatively quiet. They were definitely thrilled that Dean Lombardi made a move and took Derek Forbort as the 15th draft pick.
In other news, this year’s draft had a record-tying 10 US-born players selected in the first round including Beau Bennett from Gardena, CA who was selected 20th by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Emerson Etem from Long Beach, CA selected 29th by the Anaheim Ducks.