The 2011 NHL Draft: Today’s the day.
For several hundred amateur hockey players hoping to be selected by an NHL franchise, Friday night (or Saturday afternoon) will be the time they’ll hear their names called by professional team (or league) executives.
And there are so many fascinating questions that will be answered in the coming hours:
Will Ryan Nugent-Hopkins become the second straight No. 1 pick by the rebuilding Edmonton Oilers, following their selection of Taylor Hall in 2010?
Will Swedish power forward Gabriel Landeskog go the route of another Swedish superstar, Peter Forsberg, and become property of the Colorado Avalanche at No. 2?
Which team will nab big-time blue-liner Adam Larsson with hopes of him turning their defensive game around?
But there are plenty of other questions that will take months—if not years—to fully answer:
Can franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers make the necessary additions to help turn the club around immediately?
Can perennial favorites like the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks or Vancouver Canucks find the missing pieces that can lead them back to the brink of the Stanley Cup title?