MONTREAL - (AP) The New York Islanders kept everyone guessing, including John Tavares himself, right up until they made the high-scoring center the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft.
The Islanders chose Tavares, an 18-year-old junior star with the London Knights, with the first overall pick ahead of 6-foot-6, 220-pound Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman, the top-ranked European prospect.
The Tampa Bay Lightning took Hedman and the Colorado Avalanche followed with forward Matt Duchene, the first three selections going as expected
Duchene, 5-11 and 200 pounds, was No. 1 on some scouts' lists. He is a left-handed shot and considered by many as the best two-way player in the draft. He is a native of Halilburton, Ontario, and was a big fan of Avalanche stars
Matt Duchene. (Getty Images)Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg as a youngster. A framed, autographed Sakic jersey hangs in his basement.
Duchene has played two years in major junior so far, and it is possible he'll play again for Brampton next season. Under NHL bylaws, he can play no more than 10 games for the Avs at the start of the season before the team must either sign him to an NHL contract or he goes back to junior for the full regular season.
The NHL draft resumes with rounds two through seven on Saturday at 8:00 ET. The Avalanche hold the no. 3 and no. 19 picks in the second round.