2013 Draft Party a fun experience for fans, players

Thousands of fans gathered at Nassau Coliseum Sunday to watch the Isles make their first round pick

Monday, 07.1.2013 / 12:14 AM ET / News
By Sarah Holzberg
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2013 Draft Party a fun experience for fans, players
Thousands of fans gathered at Nassau Coliseum Sunday to watch the Isles make their first round pick
Matt Martin meets a young fan at the Draft Party (Photo: New York Islanders)

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The crowd Sunday at Nassau Coliseum picked up where they left off during the 2013 postseason and continued to “Rock the Barn.”

Thousands of Islanders fans poured into the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon to kick start the 2013-14 season. Doors opened at 1:30 for the Islanders’ 2013 NHL Draft Party, where fans enjoyed locker room tours, meet-and-greets with Islanders players and prospects, giant inflatables, a Ferris wheel and unique items from the Hockey Hall of Fame before the Islanders announced their first pick. In addition to the fun and games, the American Red Cross was on hand to accept blood donations.

“Every year I look forward to the draft party - it is one of my favorite days of the year,” said lifelong fan Kyle Rapon from Bethpage. “Every summer I call my father and we come down. It has become a family tradition.”

Fans got a chance to mingle, take photos and get autographs from current and former Islanders. “Mister Islander” himself, Bob Nystrom, enjoyed the festivities and meeting the energized Islanders faithful throughout the event.

“It is always really exciting coming to the draft parties,” Nystrom said. “I have such a great time with the fans. It’s an exciting time for the Islanders and every team, and I love coming back home. After a playoff run where the players truly gave it their all and have taken a giant step, we are really encouraged about next year, and I think they are going to do great.”

The fans relished the opportunity to take a tour of the locker rooms and see where their favorite players get prepped for the games. The chance to meet a few fan-favorites for autographs and pictures was a dream come true for so many committed fans.

Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton were among the players taking part in the festivities.

“I think to see an outcome like this shows that hockey is on everyone’s mind throughout the offseason,” Strome, the Islanders fifth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, said. “Everyone is excited about the upcoming season. Seeing these fans makes me wish we were in training camp right now.”

As the draft began, fans gathered into the stands and watched on the video board to see whose name Garth Snow was going to announce. Fans took guesses at who would don the orange and blue sweater on stage. The crowd was ecstatic when Snow announced his selection, Ryan Pulock, a defenseman from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.

“This pick was great,” Kevin Mazill, a fan from Glen Cove, said. “Pulock has an incredible slap shot. I really thought they were going to pick a goalie but this is the perfect way to go.”

Pulock and the rest of the Islanders 2013 draft picks will be on hand for mini-camp the second week of July, which culminates with the Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage on July 11 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the game can be purchased by clicking HERE.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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