American history

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

COLUMBUS -- It wasn't stars and stripes forever last night at Nationwide Arena.

Just for the first two picks.

American wingers Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk went 1-2 in the NHL entry draft to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers, respectively.

It marked the first time in the history of the draft that Americans were the first two picks.

"I don't think Canadians need to be worried, but they do need to adapt their training methods when they see what other countries are doing," Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon said after selecting Kane, a star with the OHL's London Knights.

Seven of the top-10 picks, though, were Canadian-born, including Kyle Turris.

The centre from Tier II Burnaby of the BCHL was picked by the Phoenix Coyotes at No. 3.

"That was good for (the United States), but Canada is still pretty good," Turris said.

The 'Hawks had seven or eight solid offers to deal the top pick, but Tallon said he never seriously considered moving it.

Watching Kane's performance at the world junior championship sealed the deal for Tallon.

"I knew right then and there he was going to be a special player," Tallon said. "We had seven or eight teams that were willing to make us serious offers. The rest, I would say, were just kicking tires and they were really just sort of wondering what we were going to do."

There was talk the Coyotes were going to trade a player and their No. 3 pick to Chicago in exchange for the top selection to secure Turris. That never materialized, but the Coyotes ended up getting their man anyway.

"This is a big thrill for me, to get selected by a team like Phoenix, especially hearing (Coyotes coach) Wayne Gretzky call my name. That was just awesome," said Turris.

The San Jose Sharks pulled off the first deal of the night by sending the No. 13 pick they had acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs for goalie Vesa Toskala earlier in the day to the St. Louis Blues for the ninth pick.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson, a former 67's great, used the pick to select Ottawa 67's centre Logan Couture.

Kane wasn't the only Knights' player selected.

The Edmonton Oilers used the No. 6 pick to grab London centre Sam Gagner.

"I was just happy to hear him say he was pleased to go to a Canadian team," said Oilers GM Kevin Lowe. "We felt very strongly about this kid. We think he's got an excellent future."

The Los Angeles Kings pulled off the first surprise of the night.

They went off the map by taking defenceman Thomas Hickey at No. 4.

He was ranked No. 26 by the Central Scouting Bureau in its final rankings.


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