The longest night dragged on and on at the NHL's entry draft in Pittsburgh.
Then again, a few more hours hardly mattered for left wing Tanner Pearson. The 19-year-old could have been drafted twice before but was not selected. Finally, in his third year of draft eligibility, the Stanley Cup champion Kings took Pearson with the last pick (No. 30) in the first round on Friday night.
His immediate family was on hand for the big moment.
"If I was a betting man, I'd probably say tears were shed by my dad more than my mom," he said in a telephone interview Friday night.
That's the beauty of the draft, the charm of the unexpected.
Pearson will turn 20 in August and was once a water and stick boy for his hometown team, the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. That's the former junior team of Kings center Mike Richards, who won a Memorial Cup there in 2003.