He didn’t get to go on stage, and he didn’t get to slip on a jersey and a hat for a television audience, but Kevin Marshall is hardly complaining.

Less than 25 minutes into the National Hockey League Entry Draft’s second round Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers plucked the Lewiston Maineiacs’ defenseman with the 41st overall pick.

“As soon as I head the team and my name, I stood up and the first thing in my mind was, ‘Well, that’s my kind of play,'” Marshall said. “I knew that (the Flyers) were kind of rebuilding and trying to get some young, good players, and I would like to keep their reputation going for them.”

Marshall was one of two Maineiacs selected on Day 2 of the two-day event, and one of three overall. In the seventh round, with the 197th overall pick, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected defenseman Michael Ward, who completed his first season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season as a 17-year-old.

Sniper David Perron was a first-round pick Friday night, the 26th overall selection and the St. Louis Blues’ third pick in the opening round.

But Saturday was the defensemen’s day.

“I was so happy for Michael,” Marshall said. “His selection just proves how good the Maineiacs’ organization is, how they take time to raise the players and make them better. People talk about that, and it’s really true.”

There is little chance that Ward, as a seventh-round selection and an 18-year-old, would stick with the Lightning as early as next season. Perron has a chance as a first-rounder, and also because he is a year older, at 19 this fall.

But Marshall is in an interesting spot. It’s not unheard of for a second-rounder to surprise some people by sticking with the team.

But, Marshall said, expect him back next year at least.

“I think I have at least one more year with the Maineiacs,” Marshall said. “I’m only 18, and there are people in the league who are 30, 31, 32. I know I need to improve and get better to play in the NHL, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Perron, Marshall and Ward all sat together Friday night, and all cheered as Perron heard his name called.

But Marshall playfully insisted Saturday that he got the better of his teammate.

“In the first round, it’s more like a big show,” Marshall said. “You go up to the stage, take a big picture and everything. But I was a second pick, and I got a bag full of polos and hats and all that stuff, and Perron, all he got was a hat.”

Perron and Maineiacs’ netminder Jonathan Bernier will participate in the recently-resurrected Canada-Russia series this summer, a junior tournament pitting the best of Russia’s junior players against the best of Canada.

Bernier was a first-round pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft.

All of the Maineiacs, young and old, will be back at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee and on the ice on August 15 for training camp in advance of the 2007-08 season.


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