There seemed to be more suspense about whether the Panthers would pick first overall and not who they would select first overall. After they decided to hang on to the top pick and took the stage, Panthers GM Dale Tallon tried his best to build the suspense anyway.
While announcing the Panthers' top pick, Tallon milked it for all it was worth, leaving Aaron Ekblad and family hanging on the edge of their seats, listening to the announcement. Ekblad was mic'ed up in the stands for what already promised to be a great moment, it was just a bit better watching the agonizing wait.
Tallon slowly revealed the pick and after saying "from the Ontario Hockey League" he let the words hang with a smirk on his face. Ekblad had a quick chuckle before nerves got the best of him "Oh my God! Come on!" Eventually Tallon did say his name and the big defenseman rejoiced with his family before taking the stage to don his new sweater.
"I did not know," Ekblad said of the pick. "I was freaking out there for a second when he stopped. It was breathtaking to say the least. It was breathtaking."
All's well that ended well for Ekblad, and it was great to see his and his family's reaction. It created some drama, which apparently Tallon was going for.
"I thought this is show business," he said after the first round was completed. Certainly he made it a show.