Devils rock first Draft Party in Newark

Friday, 06.20.2008 / 10:02 PM ET / Features
By Anthony Oliva
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Devils rock first Draft Party in Newark
Before he announced New Jersey's pick, Devils President, CEO, and General Manager Lou Lamoriello thanked all the fans in attendance at Prudential Center.
newjerseydevils.com – Prudential Center was abuzz during the 2008 Devils’ Draft Party, the first time the summer event was held in Newark.  More than 4,000 fans flocked to the arena, some as early as 9:30 am, eagerly anticipating the merchandise and equipment fire sale, always a popular feature of the Draft Party.

While many of the fans and hockey enthusiasts in attendance scoured the arena floor for an elusive bargain, throngs more waited in the concourse outside the Fire Lounge for an autograph or photo from Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, current Devils Sergei Brylin, Andy Greene, John Madden, and Rod Pelley, as well as assistant coach and all-time leading scorer in Devils history, John MacLean.  Devil Alumni Bruce Driver, Grant Marshall and Rob Skrlac appeared at the autograph tables later in the evening and mingled with the Devils Legionnaires.

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The Draft Party, hosted by Devils radio personalities Matt Loughlin and Sherry Ross, featured an array of fan-friendly activities, including air hockey, bubble hockey, and the latest NHL game on 3 X-Box consoles.  The Devils grassroots team even cordoned off a section of the floor to create a street hockey rink.  Kids chased orange pucks and balls across the arena, trying to score on each other, and occasionally, NJ Devil and his two guests, Devil Dawg and Scorch, mascots from Lowell and Trenton, respectively.  Eventually, Greene and Pelley got in on the action themselves, and showed the kids a few pointers.

Several fortunate members of the Devils Legion got to walk away winners at the end of the night, with seven signed sticks up for grabs in a raffle.  Devils mainstays Madden, Martin Brodeur, and Patrik Elias, along with captain Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise each left their John Hancock on a stick for a lucky fan to take home.  Two grand prizes featured the signatures of the entire 2007-08 roster.

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Throughout the night, emcees Loughlin and Ross interviewed the various Devils personalities.  They discussed draft day experiences with Stevens and Pelley. Madden shared his thoughts on going undrafted, and still “living a dream” by playing collegiate hockey.  Marshall explained that his fondness for New Jersey and the organization led him to become the latest addition to the Devils Alumni.  The event was capped off by a phone interview conducted by Matt Loughlin with the newest Devil, Swedish forward Mattias Tedenby, chosen 24th overall.