Kevin Shattenkirk felt draft drama

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- At the NHL All-Star draft, defensemen are immune to the stigma of being drafted last overall.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a little drama and nerves as players are waiting to hear their name called.

For St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, he took the opportunity of waiting to hear his name Friday night to get to know some of his fellow All-Stars.

"It seems like at first you're not really sure what to expect," Shattenkirk told ESPN.com. "You think it's going to be this thing that drones on and on, but I think as competitors we're all slowly and slightly interested in where everyone's going to be picked. It was a really fun time back there."

Attending his first All-Star Weekend as a player -- he was an attendee in 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as a rookie and took part in only the skills competition -- Shattenkirk on Friday was selected 23rd overall by hometown hero Nick Foligno but insisted it doesn't really matter as a defenseman because all defensemen had to be selected by the end of the 15th round.

"I don't think you're too worried about it," Shattenkirk said. "Just because as long as you're not the last pick, you're OK with it, but I still think it's a little unfair. As a defenseman I think we would be the last pick normally. But it was fun to kind of be a part of that and see some of the other guys sweating it out and worried about being kind of those final picks."

The member of the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, last season got a chance to catch up with some old friends and make some new acquaintances.

"You get to sit with some of the guys you maybe haven't seen in a while or never met before and get to pick their brains and really get to know them and introduce yourself to them," he said. "At first, I was sitting with Vladdy [teammate Vladimir Tarasenko], Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. Sutes I played with in the Olympics, and Shea Weber I've met a couple of times over the years now, and he's been a really nice guy to me over the time. And [I] got to sit with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who I've never really met before. We had some mutual friends, and it was cool to kind of connect with him and chat with him and he's a really nice kid."

As for the actual setup, the players who were waiting to be picked were very close to the main stage, where the players sat once they'd been selected.

"Right behind the stage," Shattenkirk said. "The tables were right behind the next wall that they propped up for us. It was cool to kind of be there sitting and waiting, and I think as a defenseman you're kind of lucky you know you're not going to be the last pick. But it was a good time."

As for the drama of the night, did Shattenkirk see the trade of Tyler Seguin for Phil Kessel coming? Not quite.

"To be honest, I didn't see it coming, and I almost forgot about it," Shattenkirk said of the original trade of the two superstars between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. "I would like to think that most people have forgotten about it now, it's so far removed. But they brought it back up from the dead, and I think it was a good little play on the situation and they had a good time with it."

And then there was Alex Ovechkin's drive to earn the last pick -- and the new car that came with it.

"He sure hoped it was going to happen," Shattenkirk said. "I think he was excited for the prospect, but I think any time you get that late in the rounds and you still see a guy like him sitting there, you kind of have to take him, so it would have been a good little joke to play around with, but it is the way it is."

And finally, how about his team? More to the point, does he remember all his teammates?

"Not at all," he said. "We'll have to figure that out tomorrow when we get to the locker room. There's probably 10 guys that I know of. And I can think of looking around who I saw, but other than that, there's still a few guys I'm not sure of."