BY: Brandon Sudeyko
It has been a couple weeks now since the NHL CSB released their final rankings. By now I am sure you have looked up and down the list of all the eligible players for the draft. Dissected it yourself in terms of who rightfully went up, which players dropped, and who are the surprises.
Well how about this for you. How often do you get a chance to call up a numerous amount of Draft Eligible talent and ask them about what they think? Yes I know that sounds like a back handed comment because you know I have access to that sort of thing. But it wasn't meant to be like that. I am just saying, with all the media and fans dissecting these lists and commenting on the number attached to a player, what do they think?
It has taken me a while to compile a good amount of responses but here are some of my findings. I won't disclose names because I don't really want to name drop. As much as I love to, just because I have their E-Mail or Cell number doesn't mean I am besties or anything... I thought I was with some... but now they don't like me. but moving on.
Here are a few responses from some players who are either high, low or mid round picks for the draft, as well as some who are not but should be.
High first round pick - 'Whether I am first overall, second, fifth or 30th pick overall. It is an honour to be drafted. Once you are drafted you never know what will happen and I worked this hard because I want to be in the NHL. Once the draft begins I will just have to wait my turn."
Western Conference Defenceman who moved up 8+ spots - "the feeling (on moving up) is incredible, its a great honor to see that I have moved up that much in the rankings. That doesn't mean I can just sit on that and think I can stay there. I know that I need to keep working and have a great summer. I had the mindset of having an excellent summer no matter what and I am hoping to put on at least 15 lbs so (moving up that many spots) won't change my work ethic for the summer. Knowing that I moved up will just make me want to push that much harder and reach my goal"
Low 1st round/early second round pick - "I think its just a list and no draft company has ever drafted a player before, just focusing on recovering... and getting back into working out."
Western Conference player with multiple ranked teammates - "To get drafted is an honor and no matter what happens on draft day, I will be thrilled if I am chosen."
Eastern Conference player with multiple ranked teammates - "I don't care about those rankings at all. It's just a number. Only one person, one team that has to like you. You can be 10th, you can be 15th, it's only the one team that will see something in you. That number means absolutely nothing."
Eastern Conference Defenceman - "Its great to be ranked, especially after not being ranked at the beginning or for the mid term rankings, but last time I checked none of the people who make the lists stand up there (on the stage) to draft you."
Unranked defenceman - "At the end of the day I played the best that I can. I did the best for my team and I am sure if you asked everyone in that dressing room they will tell you that 99.9% of the time I gave it my all on the ice and played to the best of my ability. That .1% being if I take a dumb penalty or have a brain cramp. If my ability doesn't get me ranked it doesn't mean that it is the end of the world. Many players have gotten contracts or pro camp invites later in their career and I still believe I will be playing pro hockey when I am finished in the OHL."
Probable top 15 pick - "It is special to be talked about so much and spotlighted and focused but I still have to go out there and play my game and help my team on the ice. I won't really worry or think about it until the season is over and even then it will be in the back of my mind more. But I will be busy working out and training, preparing for next season to pay any attention to it until that day in June"
Eastern Conference forward - "Is that what I am ranked at? wow! Good for me I guess... I'm serious. I don't know. I ask my buds and mates to not talk about it. I probably overheard it but clearly it hasn't stuck in my mind. Will my name be called? maybe. When will it be called? When a General Manager stand up and says, 'with the whatever pick we have, the team I manages selects... ME!' ha"
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying everyone player doesn't care about their ranking. It actually surprises me the answers I got from these players. I remember a few years ago, through friends of friends, the OHLers we knew who were ranked had a thing called 'swagger' to them and were almost transformed knowing they were going to be drafted. Some of them were, others are now playing ECHL and sometimes called up to the AHL. The rest of them? well I see them every summer in my Beer league. Love the summer ha!
Just goes to show you how maturity has changed in these kids at the ages of 17 and 18. Heck I remember when I had scouts looking at me when I was younger... clearly it went to my head. Otherwise I wouldn't be trying to re-live my life through these teenagers...
kidding, my sport was baseball. I was quite the 3rd baseman... after I lost my starting second baseman position to my former best bud... he is in AA ball right now and poised to get the call to AAA... while I am... well I guess I should end this now.
What do you think of the players comments? Are they right? or trained very well? would you like these players names? do you need their names? leave your comments below or hit me up on twitter.