#TBT: Awkward Draft Photos

The NHL draft starts, as you know, tomorrow. 

One of the great things about the draft is that, as you also know, it overlaps with teenage years.

As such, it is almost always fun exercise to look back at old draft photos. While some are photogenic at the age of 17/18, many still haven’t quite matured into the look of “NHL player” yet. 

Without further ado, here’s a sampling of the best awkward draft photos of Toronto’s current players. 

Dion Phaneuf

Dion Phaneuf might have terrified Mike Sands (left) and Darryl Sutter with his frosted tips.  

Phil Kessel

Also of the fairer-hair-than-today variety, Kessel has a look in his eye like he’s staring down the photographer for asking him to toss a puck up in the air like a baseball. “You know I play hackey, right?”

Nazem Kadri

Well dressed, good hair, and not that much different than today, the two most awkard people in this photo happen not to be Kadri, but rather Brian Burke and Dave Nonis, with Nonis giving a look like, “was this guy on my board? I had him in the third round.”

Jonathan Bernier

Wearing a mop on his head instead of the traditional draft cap, (again, with a hint of blonde in there), Bernier at 11 overall looked prepared for his role as LA’s goalie of the future. Well, he was LA’s goalie in the future, just not, you know, THE goalie.

Joffrey Lupul

“I don’t know what to do with my hands.”

(In case you’re curious, that’s Lupul’s junior teammate in Jay Bouwmeester on the right.)

Morgan Rielly

Rielly looks nearly identical today as he did to draft day just three years ago, but Brian Burke looks like he’s worn out from, like, the first five draft picks of the day.

James van Riemsdyk

You’re a wizard, James.

Honourable mention goes to James chucking up the deuce:

Jake Gardiner

But really, why was everyone’s hair so bright for draft day?

Peter Holland

Getty won’t allow for an embed on this photo, but it definitely deserves a spot on the list.

Tyler Biggs

Biggs himself looks fine, it’s more just awkard that the Leafs drafted Tyler Biggs in the first round.

  • Gary Empey

    The photographer for the JVR photo had no idea what hockey was…

    “Alright James, hold the stick with both hands up by that flat part and then hide the rest of the stick under the table…great, you look tough, now smile like you just scored a home run…perfect.”