As baseball players, the NHL Draft's top prospects made for good hockey players Wednesday afternoon in Coca-Cola Field.
None of the six players on hand came close to clearing the fence like Florida draftee Lawson Crouse did last year at Marlins Park in Miami, but all had a good time cavorting on the home field of the Buffalo Bisons in the kickoff event of draft week in Buffalo.
It was also the first media scrum of the week for presumptive No. 1 pick Auston Matthews, who is headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs and having his every move chronicled by the Toronto media.
"I thought I hit had a couple but it's pretty far out there," said Matthews, who hit a few line drives and skied one fly ball near the warning track in right field. "It's tough. I'm sure it was pretty funny" for the Bisons "watching guys who don't play their sport, so they were having a good time."
Matthews said he's determined to have a good time in Buffalo as well and said he's a little nervous about the prospects' trip on the Maid of the Mist scheduled for Thursday morning in Niagara Falls.
"I've actually been there before when I was much younger," Matthews said. "It's a little scary but it's a pretty nice view."
As for the onset of draft week, Matthews said: "It's really exciting. You dream of this as a kid. Just a couple days away and it's pretty nervewracking but really exciting."