The Pittsburgh Penguins were the first of several NHL teams to choose players with very familiar names in the 2014 NHL draft, choosing Kasperi Kapanen (son of Sami Kapanen, who played with the Whalers, Hurricanes and Flyers) with their first round pick. The Buffalo Sabres quickly followed suit, choosing Brendan Lemieux, son of NHL standout Claude Lemieux with the first pick of the second round.
Other teams followed their lead, choosing a pack of sons of former NHL players in the first seven rounds of the NHL draft. A number of cousins and nephews of former NHL standouts were also chosen in the 2014 entry draft, according to a report in the Boston Herald.
Sons of athletes following in dad’s footsteps are nothing new, of course. Just look at the Manning family. Father Archie holds the record for best quarterback on a team that was destined to go nowhere with the New Orleans Saints in the ’70s and ’80s. If you don’t know who his sons are, you probably aren’t a sports fan. Motorsports are well known for father-son combos, a la the Pettys, Andrettis and Earnhardts.
The 2014 NHL draft isn’t exactly the first time that the son of an NHL great was selected, either. Consider Bobby “The Golden Jet” Hull and his son Brett, and, of course, Mr. Hockey & Sons. Gordie Howe – regarded by some as the greatest hockey player ever – came out of retirement to play with his boys Marty and Mark for the Houston Aeros and Hartford Whalers.
Mark Howe went on to become a superstar in his own right with the Detroit Red Wings. Who knows? Given a few years, maybe we’ll be watching an NHL draft and see some team snatch up one of Sidney Crosby’s offspring (in related news, Crosby was named NHL MVP for a second straight year, something we predicted early at Inquisitr).
In addition to Brendan Lemieux going to the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins drafted Ryan Donato (son of Ted Donato, who played for Boston and seven other NHL teams and now coaches at Harvard), the Carolina Hurricanes selected Josh Wesley (son of Glen, who spent the bulk of his 20 year NHL career with Carolina and also played for the Maple Leafs, Bruins and Whalers), and the Montreal Canadiens chose Daniel Audette (son of Donald Audette, who played for Montreal and five other NHL teams).
Other relatives of former NHL players drafted in the 2014 NHL draft include John Quenneville (cousin to Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and nephew to Boston Bruins’ Johnny Boychuk), Ryan MacInnis (son of Al MacInnis), William Nylander (son of Michael Nylander), Brendan Perlini (son of Fred Perlini) and Dominic Turgeon (son of NHL great Pierre Turgeon).
You can see all of the cousins, nephews, sons and other 2014 NHL draft picks here.
[Photo via NHL.com]