Kitchener, ON: Four Kitchener Rangers took a big step in the direction of playing in the NHL over the weekend by being selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft held at the Air Canada Centre.
D Steve Eminger, LW Petr Kanko, D Marcus Smith, and RW Bill Kinkel all were selected over the weekend.
Day one of the draft saw the Washington Capitals use the first of three first round draft picks to select Steve Eminger, the smooth skating defenceman who was selected 12th overall. Last year with the Rangers Eminger ranked 5th in the OHL for scoring by defenceman with 19 goals and 58 points in 64 games.
Eminger received a loud cheer from family and friends in attendance at the Air Canada Centre when his name was called.
“To enjoy this moment with family and friends, it was really nice,” said Eminger. “They can take part in that, as well. I heard the cheer, too, when I got selected and it just kind of sent shivers down your back.”
In the third round Los Angeles made LW Petr Kanko the newest King choosing the skilled winger 66th overall. Last year as a rookie Kanko scored 28 goals and 60 points in 61 games. Those numbers were good enough for 5th best amongst all OHL rookie scorers.
“He (Kanko) has a solid build for a player his size. He is a good skater who is very talented offensively and plays both ends of the ice,” said Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray.
Day two of the draft saw D Marcus Smith selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 8th round, 249th overall. Last year Smith collected 31 points in 65 games.
The final Ranger selection of the weekend was LW Bill Kinkel who went to the New Jersey Devils in the 9th round, 281st overall. Kinkel picked up 3 points and 72 PIM’s in 53 games last year as a rookie.