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SI FOR KIDS
Sedin twins' dynamics changed draft
Posted: Saturday June 26, 1999 07:55 PM
BOSTON (AP) -- Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin expressed their desire to play together on an NHL team.
Vancouver general manager Brian Burke wanted the pair, and that triggered a series of trades that reshaped the top of the NHL draft on Saturday.
"I said [Friday night] that 'I've got [the No. 3 pick overall] and no one is leaving here with both of them -- only I can'," Burke said.
And he did.
Burke, who after a few moves ended up with the second and third picks, stepped to the podium and, in one announcement, said the Canucks had taken the brothers.
Daniel and Henrik, identical twins, were ranked first and second, respectively, among the European players. They played together in the Swedish Elite League and, now, they'll have their wish -- a chance to be teammates in the NHL.
"It's great for us," Henrik said. "We've played together for five, six years. Of course we wanted to play together."
Burke started the process when Chicago won the draft lottery May 16. He immediately started talking with the Blackhawks in hopes of acquiring Chicago's pick, No. 4. He did, trading defenseman Bryan McCabe and Vancouver's No. 1 pick in 2000 or 2001 for the Blackhawk's choice.
Then he moved that pick to Tampa Bay with the 75th and 88th choices overall for the Lightning's pick, No. 1 in the draft. Finally, the Canucks traded the first overall pick and a conditional third-round choice in 2000 to Atlanta for the Thrashers' choice, second overall.
When it was over, Vancouver had its twins.
"The whole thing came together maybe 15 minutes before [the draft started]," Burke said. "We paid a high price to get this closed in my opinion. To our way of thinking, one of them standing alone wasn't going to make it because they made it clear they weren't coming [next year] alone."
The Sedin twins aren't certain they'll be in the NHL next season. If they weren't selected together, though, they said they wouldn't likely come to the league for two years.
"We haven't signed [with the Swedish League] yet, but we wanted to get this over," said the 6-foot, 2-inch Henrik.
"The Canucks haven't said to us we have to come over next year, so its our decision," said the 6-1 Daniel.
But the Canucks are happy to have the 18-year-olds.
"They were voted co-MVPs in the Swedish League," Burke said. "To have two people of their age be co-MVPs is [incredible]. These kids are playing against men."
Burke also was excited that they're coming to Canada.
"I think this is a good day for the Canadian teams," he said.
And a good day for the Sedin twins.
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