stalked bud at each node. Allowing these stalked buds to grow would be a guaranteed way of losing the central leader in a thicket of narrow angled branches.
2 foot rule, I headed back all the lateral branches that had already exceeded 2 feet of new growth. When making the heading back cuts, I always prune to an outward growing bud (photos above). In this case, I was also careful to remove the stalked bud when I made the cut. Heading back existing lateral branches will help keep the tree more compact and will promote the growth of new lateral branches along blind portions of the central leader (areas well below the top of the tree that lack lateral branches).