Now, here is Kuznetsov, taken by the Capitals:
Q. Was it a surprise for you to be picked in the first round? Or did you expect it to happen?
KUZNETSOV: Actually no. I was waiting and waiting, and then after about the 20th pick I gave up my hope. I thought I’d have to come back the next day and then Washington picked me. I was waiting to be picked 15th or about there, and then when the 24th pick was traded, and then Chicago picked, I thought ‘That’s it.’ Players I had never heard before were being picked. I thought ‘That’s OK.’ And then the Capitals called my name.
Did you get any hints from teams that they were going to pick you?
Not really. All the teams talked about the same things. They kept saying: ‘Everything is good; you’re a good player; you’re very talented.’ And then none of them picked me but Washington. I remember speaking with Washington at the combine. It was a good talk, but we didn’t talk about hockey at all. We just talked about life in general, that’s all.
What did you feel when George McPhee called your name?
I was so happy. It felt like I dropped a stone from my shoulders. I was just so extremely happy. And then all of a sudden I got nervous. I don’t know why! Until then I was calm. But when my name was announced I just got so very nervous. But then it got better when I went to do interviews. But overall it is such a nice feeling when you have people who believe in you and pick you in the first round.