2011-9-29 21:54:52 Lucy
NHL’s Crosby era begins as Penguins draft phenom first
OTTAWA — It was Sidney Crosby’s draft, and yet it was clearly the Americans’ day when the NHL officially relaunched competition with a scaled-down version of its annual amateur draft.
The celebration of Crosby, picked first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, was the main storyline of a league trying to recover from a season lost to a lockout. Crosby, 17, is considered the most marketable prospect since Penguins’ owner/player Mario Lemieux was drafted in 1984.
"This is amazing," Crosby told the AP. "I’m just really relieved. It’s unbelievable. I’m so happy right now."
Crosby, who turns 18 next week, is a 5-foot-11, 193-pound forward with surprising strength and masterful vision on the ice. A prolific scorer, Crosby won nearly every trophy the last two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
He had 66 goals and 102 assists in 62 games, after a rookie campaign that featured 54 goals and 81 assists in 59 games, and was the Canadian major junior player of the year both seasons.
"He creates a lot of excitement," said Lemieux, Crosby’s new boss and possible linemate with the Penguins. "He has all the tools to be a great player. He sees the ice well, he’s a great skater. He says he needs to work on his shot, but it looks pretty good to me."
Crosby will share the spotlight in Pittsburgh with Lemieux, the No. 1 pick in 1984, and will be looked upon to r