The first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft is done and as usual, there were a few surprises. The Ducks had the #12 and #29 pick in the first round, #29 courtesy of Philadelphia from the Chris Pronger trade. Using both picks, Anaheim was able to get two quality players who had dropped a bit from their pre-draft rankings.
At #12, the Ducks chose defenseman Cam Fowler. Fowler was ranked in the top 5, but teams ahead of Anaheim seemed to prefer forwards to defensemen and Fowler was still available when the Ducks were ready to select. Fowler, who scored 8 goals and 55 points for the Windsor Spitfires, won a gold medal with Team USA in the World Junior Championships and 2009 Under-18 World Championships, where he was named the tournament's top defenseman.
After being chosen by the Ducks, Fowler stated that the Ducks were "going to get 100% out of me." It was especially meaningful for Fowler to be handed his jersey by newly retired defenseman, Scott Niedermayer. Niedermayer has remained with the Ducks as a consultant. An interesting note is that the jersey handed to Fowler did not have his name on the back, indicating that the Ducks did not believe he was going to be available by the time they picked.
With their 29th pick, that could have been as high as #10 if Philadelphia had not gone all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Ducks chose right wing Emerson Etem. Etem did have his name on the back of his jersey, and there has been some early speculation that he might have been chosen at 12th were it not for the availability of Fowler.
Etem grew up locally in Long Beach, California, and was one of the fastest skaters available in the draft. It was clearly meaningful for the former roller blader to be picked by the Ducks while at the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Kings, the team he grew up idolizing. He'll just have to learn to see them as the "enemy" now.
Rounds 2 through 7 will be held tomorrow with less pomp and circumstance than round one. The Ducks pick at #42 in the second round and then have some time to kill before round 5 and pick #132. They pick twice in round 6 at 161 and 177 and finish off with a final pick at #192.
Based on who they have selected in round one, so far, so good!