TORONTO, ON. — The 2014 NHL draft kicked off in the city of brotherly love, and two young brothers from Montreal had the opportunity to take it all in, with the hopes of one day hearing their names be called.
Angie La Morty, the mother of Ellis and Mikael, had entered a contest courtesy of All Habs Hockey Magazine and the NHL to win tickets to this year’s draft, and she was one of the lucky winners. A week ago we featured Angie, a proud Dominican-Canadian, a Habs fan and a hockey mom extraordinaire.
So she packed up her car and descended from Montreal and headed to Philadelphia for a weekend her boys would never forget.
“The trip was super fun. We sang, we danced…and of course the boys slept. Besides having to cross the border in New Jersey, everything went well. We arrived in Philadelphia on Thursday night, so we had plenty of time to rest,” says La Morty.
When Friday rolled around the La Morty clan was beyond ready, just entering the parking lot at the Wells Fargo Center resulted in fits of excitement.
Before the events of the day began, the La Morty’s needed to meet up with the rest of the All Habs team.
“One of the highlights of the weekend was actually getting to meet Rick [Owner/Editor In Chief of All Habs]. I could finally put a face to the mystery man behind all of the e-mails, posts, and tweets. It was very nice to meet him.”
After the meet and greet, it was time for everyone to hit up the Flyers Fan Fest where everyone had fun interacting with other fans, playing games, entering contest and Angie’s boys of course found a booth to practice their puck shooting skills.
When everyone finally entered the building, the energy was electrifying.
“The atmosphere was crazy. It was so much fun seeing all the tables set up with the teams and seeing the players.”
Angie shared that another big highlight of the weekend of course was when it was time for the Montreal Canadians to announce their draft selections.
“We started screaming and clapping, the boys said I was absolutely over the top.”
Montreal’s first pick was Nikita Scherbak, who went 26th overall in the first round. Scherbak, a Russian right winger, posted 28 goals and 50 assists in his first year with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. He also was named the Blades’ most valuable player and rookie of the year.
Their next pick came 73rd overall for Brett Lernout, a 6-foot-4, 205 pound defenceman from Winnipeg. Lernout had 22 points in 77 games for Swift Current last season. The Habs traded up to get to the 73rd choice and earn a crack at Lernout. The Canadiens swapped their third and fourth round picks (87 and 117) to the Phoenix Coyotes just to get their shot at him.
With their next pick, the Habs selected Nikolas Koberstein, a 6′-foot-2 defenceman who played for the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL last season. He put up five goals and 13 assists, while notching a hefty 153 minutes in penalties. Which is perfect because the Canadiens can always use some extra height and toughness on their blueline.
Next the Canadiens used their fourth of their six picks by chancing on Daniel Audette, a speedy 5-foot-8 sniper who scored 76 points in 68 games for Sherbrooke of the QMJHL last season. His father Donald Audette had a long NHL career and also had the opportunity to pull the iconic red jersey over his head.
The Habs then picked a goalie with their 177th pick, opting to grab Hayden Hawkey, a 6-foot-2, 174 pound netminder from the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. Hawkey has committed to playing for Providence College next season.
And finally with their 207th pick, the Habs chose Jake Evans, a forward from St. Michaels of the OJHL. The 6-foot youngster will play at the University of Notre Dame next season.
As the draft winded down to a close, and the official UFA trading frenzy began, potential future draftees can feel nothing but optimistic and hopeful for their hockey futures, this includes Ellis and Mikael La Morty.
“Seeing some of the mothers crying when their son’s names got called left me super emotional, because that could be us in a few years.”