Lost in the subplots that emerged from last night’s NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft — Team Alfredsson hoarding all the Senators and Swedes, Zdeno Chara taking Tim Thomas with his second pick — was a pretty interesting storyline:
Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin have an opportunity to be linemates.
Chara and assistant captain Joffrey Lupul took Kessel *relatively* early in the draft, eighth round, 15th overall, freeing him from the shackles of his Mr. Irrelevant title (which would later be bestowed on San Jose’s Logan Couture.)
Chara then spared Seguin the ignominy of going last overall by selecting Boston’s sophomore sensation in Round 18 with Couture, Jason Pominville and Jamie Benn still on the board.
Upon being selected, Seguin realized that he and Kessel — who will forever be linked by “the trade” — had a pretty good chance of playing together.
““I said ‘Kess, I think we’re linemates,'” Seguin told the Boston Herald. “[Kessel] said ‘That be cool. I think the media would like it.'”
“The trade” has been contentious ever since Brian Burke and Peter Chiarelli signed off on it in Sept. 2009. The bounty of draft picks Burke paid for Kessel has stockpiled Boston’s prospect cupboard: Seguin is in his second year with the B’s while Jared Knight (32nd overall, 2010 Draft) and Dougie Hamilton (9th overall, 2011 Draft) are two of the OHL’s top players. Knight’s a point-a-game guy with the London Knights while Hamilton has 50 points in 34 games for Niagara — as a defenseman.
That said, Kessel’s been good for the Leafs. He’s made consecutive All-Star games and scored 88 goals in two-and-a-half seasons with the Leafs.