The 2011 NHL Entry Draft wrapped up yesterday with future Sioux forward Rocco Grimaldi and current Sioux defenseman Dillon Simpson earning selections.
Grimaldi was chosen by the Florida Panthers in the 2nd Round (33rd Overall), and jokingly stated via Twitter that "I have decided to take my talents to South Beach and join the Florida Panthers haha." Look out, LeBron. Grimaldi was widely considered to have surefire 1st Round talent, and while his small frame surely made some teams uneasy, his devout religious beliefs may have scared off others. During the Versus Round 1 broadcast Friday night Grimaldi stated that during interviews teams asked questions concerning his faith and how that might affect his relationships with teammates:
Considering that some say he may have been the number one overall pick if he were half a foot taller, the Florida Panthers may have landed the steal of the draft on Day 2. Only time will tell, but there are certainly players who use skill and ability to make size a non-issue in today's NHL game.
Simpson was taken by his hometown Edmonton Oilers with the first pick of the 4th Round (92nd Overall). Simpson's father, CBC hockey analyst Craig Simpson, spent six years with the Oilers, winning two Stanley Cup Playoff Championships. The Simpsons, however, weren't the only Edmonton Oiler father-son duo to make headlines during this year's draft.
Here's an interview with the Simpsons following Dillon's selection:
The NHL Network also aired a touching piece on George Pelawa, a 1986 Calgary Flame draft pick from Bemidji, MN who was to be a freshman on North Dakota's 1986-87 National Championship winning "Hrkac Circus" team. 25 years later, the pain his family members and friends still live with is almost palpable: