Flames picks surprise fans

DAVE BREAKENRIDGE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

Diehard hockey fans were glued to their TVs yesterday for the first draft since June 26, 2004.

Though it was believed the draft brought few surprises, some were caught off-guard by the Calgary Flames' first-round pick, 26th overall, big defenceman Matt Pelech from the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.

Spencer Tapley, hockey fan and owner of Bottoms Up Sports Pub, said Pelech seemed like an out-of-the-blue pick.

"We've got an overabundance of big defencemen, but then again, there's never enough," he said, adding that Flames GM Darryl Sutter may be trying to fill the void left by Mike Commodore, traded to the Caroline Hurricanes.

Tapley said there wasn't a huge interest in the draft at his bar, there were about a dozen devoted fans watching the talent-harvest together.

Meanwhile, local hockey fan Brad Trumble said he was surprised to see so many first-round picks from the OHL and the QMJHL over the WHL. Half of the first 20 picks were from the Ontario and Quebec leagues, with only four from the Western Hockey League -- though, three of those were top 10 picks.


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