After being passed over in the first round of the NHL entry draft Friday, Landon Ferraro returned to his hotel room knowing he had to return to the Bell Centre the next morning.
It was a return trip to the home of the Montreal Canadiens that he had not planned on making, and as it turned out, he didn’t have to stay long.
“Yeah, I guess it wasn’t too bad,” he said Saturday, after being selected by the Detroit Red Wings as the second pick — 32nd overall — in the annual lottery of the world’s top junior players.
“I was really excited when I heard my name get called.”
The Red Wings dealt their first-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for the Lightning’s second-round selection — which they used to snare Ferraro — and third round pick.
Clearly, the Wings had Ferraro on their radar from the start.
“I had a good meeting with the Red Wings at the (NHL draft) combine (in late May) and I knew they were interested,” said Ferraro, who sniped 37 goals with the Red Deer Rebels last season. “When they traded down they told me later that they had a feeling that I would still be there (32nd) and they could get an extra pick out of it. So it worked out well for me and the team.”
Ferraro admitted he felt rather fortunate to be snared by the Red Wings.
“It’s a franchise with a history and a history of winning,” he said. “I’m obviously really happy and honoured to be their first pick this year. That’s something to be really proud of and I’m excited about going to their prospects camp early next month in Detroit.”
Two of Ferraro’s Rebels teammates — defenceman Justin Weller and goalie Darcy Kuemper — were taken Saturday, with Weller going in the fourth round, 105th overall, to the Phoenix Coyotes and Kuemper 161st, in the sixth round, to the Minnesota Wild.
Rebels forwards Cass Mappin and Willie Coetzee, both of whom were ranked by Central Scouting as North American prospects, were not selected.
Coetzee was always on the bubble, while Mappin was projected as a fourth- to fifth-round selection.
Ferraro admitted he was surprised that Mappin’s name was not called and that Weller, who missed half of last season due to injury, went where he did.
“I knew Weller had a chance but I didn’t think he would go that early,” said Ferraro. “I was happy when I heard his name called and I talked to Mappin earlier today and he’s been invited to the Columbus (Blue Jackets) rookie camp.
“I think it all worked out well for everybody.”