The 2012 NHL Entry draft is a stepping stone for many players in their persuit of a pro hockey career. For three members of the Calgary Hitmen, they took that first step on day two of the draft.
Goaltender Chris Driedger, coming off a 24 win season, was drafted in the third round, 76th overall by the Ottawa Senators.
“I’m overwhelmed with excitement,” says Driedger. “It’s a dream come true.”
"Chris has tremendous upside,” adds Hitmen goaltending coach Darcy Wakaluk. “He's a very big goalie that moves well.”
Rookie defenceman Kenton Helgesen was selected in the seventh round, 187th overall, by the Anaheim Ducks,
“I am very excited,” says Helgesen. “It's added motivation to keep working hard and pursue my goal of playing in the NHL."
Fellow blueliner Jaynen Rissling was also drafted in the seventh round, 197th overall by the Washington Capitals. The 18-year-old just completed his third WHL season.
“I’m excited for Chris, Kenton and Jaynen,” says Hitmen Head Coach Mike Williamson. “Getting drafted is one step closer towards realizing their dreams of playing pro hockey. All three players are dedicated and committed athletes and will help form a strong returning core.”
I had a chance to catch up with Driedger before the draft to get his thoughts leading up to the draft.
Click here to listen