As much as the 2014 NHL Draft (and everything surrounding it) was about change, seeing children of former players selected – sometimes by the same teams that employed their fathers – brought about a certain feeling of familiarity.
(And, in the case of Brendan Lemieux being more than OK with emulating his controversial dad Claude Lemieux, maybe the occasional foreboding sense.)
If a last name or 10 sounded familiar to you sometime between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, you weren’t hearing things. Consider some of the best “bloodlines” stories from the draft:
- Eighth overall pick William Nylander might end up being the best offspring of them all. His father Michael isn’t that far removed from his playing days.
- Another familiar name is Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-rounder (22nd overall) Kasperi Kapanen, Sami’s son.
- The most charming moments probably came when players were selected for the same teams their fathers once skated for. That happened when the Montreal Canadiens picked Daniel Audette (you might remember his father Donald), the Boston Bruins selected Ryan Donato (son of Ted) and Carolina Hurricanes tabbed Josh Wesley (Glen’s progeny).
- Josh Wesley is an especially cool story. He represents North Carolina’s homegrown NHL Draft selection. Will we see more from that region as the Hurricanes only get more settled in Raleigh?
- Again, Brendan Lemieux hopes to bring the same clutch prowess and fury that his father Claude made infamous, even if it’s not with the Colorado Avalanche or New Jersey Devils (Buffalo made him the first pick of the second round). More about that father-son connection here.
- The Los Angeles Kings nabbed Jake Marchment, son of Bryan … so Lemieux isn’t the only son of a controversial checker.
- The Arizona Coyotes drafted Ryan MacInnis, son of Al.
- The Detroit Red Wings drafted Dominic Turgeon with the 63rd pick. He looks remarkably like his father Pierre (insert uncomfortable Dale Hunter joke here).
- And, of course, there’s a Sutter. The New York Islanders drafted Lukas Sutter with the 200th pick. He’s Rich’s son.
Father-son connections aren’t the only noteworthy familial bits …
- Shane Gersich (135th overall, Washington Capitals) has some famous uncles in Neal and Paul Broten. Neal had a great NHL career and was a key member of the fabled “Miracle on Ice” team.
- If Anton Karlsson is anywhere near the player is brother Erik Karlsson is, the Arizona Coyotes could have a scary combination of offensive defensemen considering Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle’s talents. The Coyotes seemed to draft based on good genes, it seems.
- John Quenneville is Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville’s second cousin. Coach Q must be glad that he’s in the Eastern Conference (selected 30th overall by the New Jersey Devils), as that will at least limit the awkward storylines.
Aside from maybe one of those first-round picks, it’s unlikely that fans will get many chances to compare and contrast these players with their relatives in NHL games during the 2014-15 season. Still, it’s often fun to see how far these hockey apples fall from the tree.
If the teams that drafted them get their way, the answer will be “not very far.”