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Dinner With This Year's Top Draft Prospects

Thanks to Jes for forwarding me a copy of the NHL Entry Draft Media Guide for 2007 (which apparently anyone can download here - warning: PDF). Rather than go all Mel Kiper on you (at this point, at least), I figured I'd help you get to know some of these kids, and what better way to get to know them than to see which three people they'd most like to have dinner with?

If you want some raw data, skip to the bottom. Otherwise, here they are, by prospect, in alphabetical order (with a little added info, where appropriate):
  • Akim Aliu - nicknamed "Dream," Akim is trying to become the first Nigerian-born NHLer. Hopefully he finds the same success in North America as another similarly-named African-born gent (him or him - take your pick). As for his dinner guests, Bobby Orr, Steve Yzerman and Gordie Howe.
  • Jean-Simon Allard - Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky and President George Bush. Does he mean Bush 41 or Bush 43? Because if it's the former, yeah, that would be an awesome dinner, but the latter? Not sure they'd have a lot to talk about.)
  • Aaron Alphonso - Sacha Baron Cohen, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali
  • Karl Alzner - Scott Niedermayer, Owen Wilson, Taylor Swift.
  • Keith Aulie - Gretzky, Jessica Simpson and Sidney Crosby because "they are all amazing people." Indeed.
  • Roman Bashkirov - Maria Sharapova (pictured). That's it. Well played.
  • Ruslan Bashkirov - Roman's twin brother, he would see his brother's Sharapova and raise him a Gretzky and a Vladimir Putin for dinner.
  • Jamie Benn - Joe Sakic, Gretzky, Babe Ruth
  • Ben Blood - Orr, Vince Vaughn, Herb Brooks
  • Jon Blum - Woods, Lance Armstrong, Simpson
  • Nick Bonino - Larry David, Bush, Brendan Shanahan
  • Robert Bortuzzo - Orr, Armstrong, Bob Probert
  • Drayson Bowman - Armstrong, Lemieux, Kiefer Sutherland
  • T.J. Brennan - his dad, Dion Phaneuf, Woods
  • Bryan Cameron - Yzerman, Andrew Raycroft ("to learn how to
    score more goals"), Will Ferrell
  • Max Campbell - Pavel Bure, Gretzky, Adam Sandler
  • Trevor Cann - Gretzky, Yzerman, Armstrong
  • Luca Caputi - Richard Simmons (pictured), Simpson, Freddie Mercury. Best answer yet, by far (and I see where you're going with your invites, Luca... crafty).
  • Paul Carey - Armstrong, Bono, Al Gore. Apparently we're into the tree hugger portion of the alphabet.
  • Jordy Christian - Woods, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Andrew Clark - Yzerman
  • Colby Cohen - Donovan McNabb, Chris Pronger, John LeClair. Cohen is Jeremy Bloom's cousin and, as you can probably tell from his dinner guests, a Philly guy.
  • Ian Cole - Woods, Keith Magnuson, Ali
  • Logan Couture - Willis McGahee, Barry Bonds, Evangeline Lilly
  • Tommy Cross - Nicklas Lidstrom, Bush, his mom (Cross's, not Bush's)
  • Jeff Desjardins - his dad, his junior coach, Rod Brind'Amour
  • Jack Downing - Kate Beckinsale (pictured), Pavel Datsyuk, LeBron James
  • Eric Doyle - Orr, Ferrell, Terry Fox
  • Keaton Ellerby (Shane Doan's cousin) - Orr, Ray Bourque
  • Reid Ellingson - Brooks, Gretzky, Martin Brodeur
  • Taylor Ellington - Elvis Presley, Ferrell, Lemieux
  • Travis Erstad - Gretzky, Sakic, Armstrong
  • Angelo Esposito - Sutherland, Phil Esposito (no relation), Armstrong
  • Mitch Fadden - Sakic, Yzerman, Gretzky
  • Justin Falk - Woods, Orr, Bourque
  • Matt Fillier - Yzerman, Kenny Chesney, Woods
  • Olivier Fortier - Gretzky, Armstrong, Yzerman
  • Sam Gagner - Gretzky, Orr, Yzerman
  • T.J. Galiardi - Gretzky, Armstrong, Donovan Bailey
  • Colton Gillies (Clark's nephew) - Armstrong, Mel Gibson, Halle Berry
  • Andrew Glass - Orr, Gretzky, Kiera Knightley
  • Maxim Gratchev - Sergei Fedorov, Jim Carrey (the actor, though spelled incorrectly in the Guide), Vince Lombardi
  • Jake Hansen - Peter Forsberg, Brodeur, Crosby
  • Thomas Hickey - Armstrong, Don Cherry, Rachel McAdams
  • Mike Hoeffel - Zach Parise, Roger Federer, Brittany Snow
  • Patrick Kane - his grandpa, Gretzky, Woods
  • Mark Katic - his grandpa, Orr, Bill Barilko
  • Daniel Kelly - Scott Stevens, Vaughn, Simpson
  • Mario Kempe - his grandmother, Sandler, Lemieux
  • Blake Kessel - his brother Phil, Lidstrom, Orr
  • Josh Kidd - Woods, Orr, Michael Jordan
  • Alexander Killorn - Gretzky, Ferrell, Ali
  • Dwight King - Armstrong, Gretzky, Jessica Alba (pictured)
  • Jordan Knackstedt - Gretzky, Pamela Anderson, Chesney
  • Antoine LaFleur - Lemieux, Roberto Luongo, Crosby (at a French restaurant, no doubt)
  • Matt Lahey - Carey (again, sic... I assume), Vaughn, Ferrell
  • Nick Larson - Woods, Armstrong, Yzerman
  • Drew LeBlanc - Gretzky, Sylvester Stallone ("because of the character he portrayed in the Rocky Series," so presumably he'd have to be in character throughout the meal,) Kennedy
  • John Lee - Gretzky, Orr, Chris Chelios
  • Brett Leffler - Woods, Chris Farley, Eva Longoria
  • Stefan Legein - Gretzky, Armstrong, Harry Houdini (pictured)
  • Spencer Machacek - Gretzky, Doug Gilmour, Carrie Underwood
  • Drew Mackenzie - Mark Messier, Gretzky, Howe
  • Brett MacLean - Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux
  • LoganMacMillan - Wahsontiio Stacey, Jordan, Mike Tyson
  • Brad Malone (Ryan's cousin) - Woods, Bill Gates, Tom Brady
  • Kevin Marshall - Maurice Richard, Chelios
  • Matt Marshall - Federer, Jordan, Lemiuex
  • Justin McCrae - Armstrong, Gretzky, Woods
  • Ryan McDonagh - Gretzky, Bush, Jordan
  • Radek Meidl - Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Lemieux
  • Charles-Antoine Messier - Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Federer
  • Dale Mitchell - Paul Kariya, Wayne Rooney, Denzel Washington
  • Riley Nash - Yzerman, Bush, Orr
  • John Negrin - Woods, Orr, Yzerman
  • James O'Brien - Yzerman, Woods, Gretzky
  • Max Pacioretty - Jeremey Shockey, Jordan, Messier
  • Nick Palmierei - Sakic, Gretzky, Ali
  • Aaron Palushaj - Lemieux, Armstrong, Lombardi
  • David Perron - Alexei Kovalev, Orr, Gretzky
  • Nicholas Petrecki - Messier, Pronger, Woods
  • Brad Phillips - Gretzky, Sandler, Brady
  • Casey Pierro-Zabotel - Gretzky, Yzerman, Lemieux
  • Alex Plante - Cherry, Ferrell, Larry the Cable Guy
  • Paul Postma - Orr, David Beckham (pictured), Jesus
  • Brent Regner - Niedermayer, Carey (for the love of Pete, the actor has two r's in his name, the flash-in-the-pan goalie has one), Woods
  • Mickey Renaud - Mats Sundin, Carmen Electra, Anderson
  • Michael Repik - Jagr, Gretzky, Paris Hilton
  • Nick Ross - Gretzky, Terrell Owens, Chuck Liddell (did you know that T.O.'s middle name is Eldorado? Wonder where he was conceived...)
  • Linden Rowat - his grandfather, Gretzky, Ferrell
  • Ted Ruth - George Washington ("the first President" - thanks), Alexander the Great (unclear whether he means this one or this one), Orr
  • Ben Ryan - his brother, Jordan, Scotty Bowman
  • Nico Sacchetti - Vaughn, Sandler, Dane Cook
  • Colton Sceviour - Yzerman, Gretzky, Swift
  • C.J. Severyn - his grandfather, Gretzky, Bush
  • Tyson Sexsmith - Armstrong, Simpson (pictured), Andy Roddick
  • Kevin Shattenkirk - Achilles, Albert Einstein, Jordan
  • David Skokan - Gretzky, Sakic
  • Brendan Smith - Shanahan, Ferrell, Gore
  • Jeremy Smith - his grandfather, Einstein, Kennedy
  • Brett Sonne - Yzerman, Simpson, God
  • Nick Spaling - Gretzky, Yzerman, Alexander Ovechkin
  • Joe Stejskal - Federer, John McEnroe, Zdeno Chara
  • David Stich - Gretzky, Armstrong
  • P.K. Subban - Orr, Jordan, Bowman
  • Brandon Sutter (Brent's son) - Orr, McAdams, Chesney
  • Bill Sweatt - Gretzky, Woods, Derrek Lee
  • Eric Tangratti - G. Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Bush
  • Maxime Tanguay (Alex's brother) - Gretzky, Armstrong (pictured), Woods
  • Paul Thompson - his grandmother, Gretzky, Sandler
  • Corey Tropp - Bowman, Datsyuk, Darren McCarty (guess who he's hoping drafts him)
  • Kyle Turris - Ali, Armstrong (wait, Neil, not Lance), Yzerman
  • Dana Tyrell - his grandfather, Orr, Cherry
  • James vanRiemsdyk - Gretzky, Colin Wilson and Brennan Vargas (JvR's roommates)
  • Kevin Veilleux - Joe Thornton, Gretzky, Sakic
  • Jakub Voracek - Alba, Ronaldhino, Gates
  • Yannick Weber - Woods, Heidi Klum, Federer
  • Patrick White - Brooks, Donald Trump, L. Armstrong
  • Ben Winnett - Darcy Tucker, Charles Barkley, Gretzky
Top Five Hockey Players Chosen:
  1. Gretzky (46)
  2. Orr (21)
  3. Yzerman (17)
  4. Lemieux (9)
  5. Sakic (6)
Top Six Non-Hockey Athletes Chosen:
  1. Woods/Armstrong (20)
  2. Ali/Federer (5)
  3. Brady/Sharapova (2)
Top Six Actors Chosen:
  1. Ferrell (8)
  2. Sandler (5)
  3. Vaughn (4)
  4. Alba/Sutherland (2)
Top Five Women Chosen:
  1. Simpson (pictured, 6)
  2. Sharapova, Alba, McAdams, Anderson (2)
Top Five Non-Athlete/Entertainers Chosen:
  1. Bush (7)
  2. Kennedy (3)
  3. G. Washington, Gore, Gates (2)