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Preceding scouting reports indicate

Submitted by jaywillen on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 20:59

Imagine you are 18 years old. Your Luke Schenn Elite Jersey parents, who truly believe you are the next coming of Mario Lemieux, insist you fly alone to Columbus for the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft so you can accept your team's jersey in person-- against your agent's advice. Preceding scouting reports indicate you'll likely go in the fourth round. Your parents can only afford the one ticket and stay home with your siblings to watch the draft on TV.

After your plane lands in Columbus and you pick up your bags from the baggage turnstile, there is a van waiting for you and a group of other players who arrived from other destinations. With the belongings all loaded and players strapped in, the van then proceeds along International Gateway, steering towards the 670 West/US-62 West/Cassady Avenue exit. Along the 670, the van turns left on Neil Avenue and pulls in front of the media entrance of the Nationwide Arena alongside Nationwide Boulevard. This will be your home for the next few days.

Draft day comes and you're sitting in the lower bowl of the arena - by yourself. There is quite a buzz of activity. About two or three whole sections of the stands are set up as a media area, with tables and plug-ins, where some familiar well-known faces are sprinkled in, talking, working on their laptops, and mulling around.

The floor of the arena has no Sami Vatanen Big & Tall Jersey ice. Instead there are 30 sets of tables with numerous chairs and each table has a sign with its team's name and logo. You can see Brian Burke of the Anaheim Ducks on the phone and several individuals you don't recognize talking all around him. You see Wayne Gretzky from the Phoenix Coyotes, Glen Sather of the New York Rangers, and a host of other familiar faces and legends of the game.

There are people sitting intermittently throughout the stands: groups of people representing a player and his family; others who are probably agents assessing the mood of the floor; and interested bystanders who just want to see what the event is all about.

You took a tour of the building on the first night, when Round One was conducted, and saw the press conference area, where the drafted players have been directed to go after their names are announced, to face the media and questions. There is a podium with a microphone set up in front of a blue backdrop with the NHL logo and the Columbus 2007 Draft logo. The area is basically set up for just the first two rounds.