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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Brandon Gormley confident; Jack Campbell a Stars pick?

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As is customary every year the media had a nice session with a number of the top NHL prospects here in Los Angeles, on a terrace that overlooks downtown. Way off in the distance you could barely make out the “Hollywood” sign through the smog, but it was still a fitting backdrop for these players to discuss their future on the eve of the draft.

It’s tough to really get a whole lot of information from these question and answer sessions, but it is nice to be able to talk to the players in a semi-informal environment. Some are very confident and ready for the draft to start, others are starting to feel that nervousness start to kick in as they wait to find out which organization they’re headed to.

Here are some of the highlights from the afternoon:

- Taylor Hall says that he’d be content with whatever team picks him, saying that both Boston and Edmonton are great organizations and he’d be proud to play for either one. He said that he has no clue which way either team is leaning, and that he’s working on really building up his strength this summer to gear up for what should be his first NHL season.

“We’ve been fighting all the time, it’s such a bitter rivalry,” Hall said with a sly grin when asked about spending the past few weeks with Tyler Seguin. He said he hopes they can build a great competitive rivalry against each other and that this draft will link them together for the rest of their careers.

- Brandon Gormley is very confident, and says that he’s ready for the draft after spending the past few months under the microscope. He says he’s most proud of his ability to stay composed, and that he thinks that’s something teams would like to have in a young player.

“I’m composed in all situations, something I’m proud of. I don’t make the rushed decisions, and I can bring a strong sense of leadership to the team.”

- Cam Fowler (who was a bit smaller than I expected) is also confident, and says that he’s not really worried about where he might fall. With Fowler, Gudbranson and Brett Connelly all right there in the mix, Fowler says that he’s expecting to go anywhere from #3 to #5 and he’d be happy with whatever happens.

“I’m just trying to do well in these interviews and show that I’m a good person, too. They’re not just looking for good hockey players, they’re looking for good people as well. You gotta be confident in yourself and know that it’s going to work out in the end and you’re going to fall into the right situation.”

Fowler has been shown a lot of interest by Florida and said that he had another interview with them later this afternoon.

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- Perhaps the most interesting ‘development’ came while talking to Jack Campbell. This was my first time meeting the American goaltender, and I have to say that while some may be put off by his on-ice cockiness, he is one great guy and really easy to talk. I had fun just chatting with him about the World Juniors (“Best experience of my life, the American crowd was great.”) as well as some talk about American junior hockey hero Jerry D’Amigo.

What was eyebrow-raising about it though was when he mentioned which teams had shown a lot of interest in him. Now, this doesn’t necessarily give away a team’s intentions because anything can happen on the draft floor, but Campbell said that the teams that have shown him the most interest were Phoenix and Dallas.

He specifically pointed out Dallas as a team that’s talked to him a couple of times, and he mentioned how GM Joe Nieuwendyk had spoken with him this morning. The Stars pick at #11, and while they are most likely to take a defenseman like Derek Forbort, the organization is certainly hurting for a blue-chip goaltending prospect like Campbell.