SBJ/June 30 - July 6, 2003/Labor Agents

Orr’s firm puts 5 in NHL draft’s first round

A sports agency headed by NHL legend Bobby Orr scored big in this year's NHL draft, representing five players selected in the first round — more than any other agency — and two of the top three picks.

The Orr Hockey Group represents No. 2 Eric Staal, No. 3 Nathan Horton, No. 11 Jeff Carter, No. 25 Anthony Stewart and No. 26 Brian Boyle.

"We were pretty happy," said Paul Krepelka, a partner in the Boston-based sports agency who represents four of the first rounders.

Last year, The Orr Hockey Group had four players taken in the first round, tying Octagon for best agency showing.

The performances mark a good start for a company that has experienced only two NHL drafts. The Orr Hockey Group was formed when Orr bought his business back from Woolf Associates in February 2002. Orr is the majority owner of the agency, and Krepelka and agent Rick Curran are equity partners.

Orr was not available for comment last week, but Krepelka said Orr was active in recruiting the company's draft class.

"Having him involved in the capacity he is helps us a great deal," Krepelka said.

Krepelka said the agents expected all five players to be selected in the first round of the June 21-22 draft. Still, he said, "It was pretty exciting."

"We were fortunate to have some pretty talented kids," Krepelka said. "Hopefully, if the kids are as talented as we think they are, the future for the kids, as well as the company, is bright."

The Orr Hockey Group has six full-time employees and five consultants, Krepelka said. The company has a presence and recruits hockey players in the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia and Germany.

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