Hawks Get Two in Top 5…

It was a great night for the Portland Winterhawks organization when they had two players selected in the first five picks of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Ryan Johansen, the stunning riser of the draft, was the first WHL player selected when the Columbus Blue Jackets made him the fourth overall selection.  To say Johansen’s rise to glory has been rapid is a massive understatement.

When Johansen came to training camp at the start of the season, we saw the signs that Johansen would be a top six forward for the Hawks and that he could produce at this level.  But, I don’t think anyone expected this, including Johansen.

Not to be outdone…his linemate and teammate, Nino Niederreiter was selected by the New York Islanders with the next selection at number five. 

Most Hawk faithful thought that the two players would go high in the draft, but both in the Top 5 is out of this world incredible, not only for the players but for the entire organization.

Nino’s rise to stardom is almost as rapid as Johansen’s but he made his biggest strides at the World Junior Championships with the Swiss National Team.  The rest of the world figured out then what we in Portland already knew, he is a special player.

The Hawks could have a few more players selected fairly early tomorrow with Brad Ross, Troy Rutkowski and Taylor Aronson all expected to be taken before the end of the third round.

I will post some more in depth thoughts on the draft on Sunday…but for tonight, on a personal note, I wanted to say how proud I am of both Ryan and Nino.  Both players are not only great players, but incredible people off the ice and in the locker room.  I have been blessed to get to know them as people and I know they will succeed at the next level…just hopefully not too soon!

Congratulations to both players and good luck to those still waiting to hear their name called tomorrow…



  1. Andy,
    It was an awesome draft party and you, Todd, and Scooter along with Matt did a great job! Had an excellent time and with Ryan and Nino being selected 4th & 5th was icing on the cake with a cherry on top! It was a great day! Tomorrow’s rounds should produce more Winterhawk player selections… looking forward to it and, of course, to next season!

  2. What an awesome NHL Draft! Ryan Johanson to COB BlueJackets; Nino Niederreiter to NYIslanders; Brad Ross to TORMaple Leafs; Taylor Aronson to NASHPredators; Troy Rutkowski & Luke Walker to COLAvalanche; Mac Carruth to CHIBlackhawks; Riley Boychuk to BUFSabres! This is an historical day for the PDX Winterhawks orgnztn, the players & the fans of the ‘HAWKS! Congratulations, guys.

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