Notebook: Swede haul in round one of NHL draft
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Note since the grand opening of the IKEA in Bloomington has this much high-end Swedish merchandise been moved in one night in Minnesota.
New Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin was the fourth Swedish player to be plucked in the first 10 picks on Friday. The defenseman from Farjestad went to the Wild after winger Gabriel Landeskog went to the Avalanche second overall, defenseman Adam Larsson went to the Devils fourth and center Mika Zibanejad went to the Senators with the sixth pick.
"It's really cool," said Brodin. "They have really good players. Adam Larsson, Landeskog, Mika Zibanejad. And I know those guys. They're really good guys. It's very good for Sweden."
Six Swedes went in the first round, matching the record set in 1993 and 2009.
Fan ire avoidance by Bettman
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gets booed by most fan bases. He's disliked in Canada for his perceived pro-American bias. Some Minnesota fans are still bitter that he let the North Stars leave for Dallas in 1993. And boos are routinely rained on him.
But he got cheered a few times on Friday in Minnesota. First, he's a hero to many among the throng of Winnipeg fans in attendance for approving the NHL's return to Manitoba. And when Bettman first appeared on stage, he was accompanied by the daughters and widow of NHL front office man E.J. McGuire, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. The audience gave Bettman and the McGuire family a standing ovation.
Burns praised for his work in the community
Brent Burns was more than a star hockey player during his seven seasons in Minnesota, which made the team's decision to trade him a tougher one, said Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher.
"I want to thank Brent for six or seven years in our organization," Fletcher said, noting Burns' work with military families and other charities. "He was a tireless worker in the community and a very good hockey player for us."
Burns appeared at a youth hockey event in Mendota Heights on Thursday. There had been rumors swirling that he could be trade material, and when asked which team he's be representing at the event, one Wild staffer joked Burns was there on behalf of "Team Reebok."
No Minnesotans, no goalies picked yet
Some had speculated that New Prague's Seth Ambroz and/or Wayzata's Mario Lucia could be plucked in the first round, but neither name was called. Nor were there any goalies taken in round one, for the third time in the past five years.