The Weight of the Wait
– The second day of the NHL Entry Draft is hardly glamorous.
With a handful of hardcore fans in attendance and no television
coverage, the proceedings are about as exciting as your local
zoning board meeting.
a nerve racking morning for prospects that sat in the RBC Center
stands for five hours Saturday without being chosen in the first
three rounds and woke up early to head back to the rink for the
final six rounds.
know I have first-day [rounds 1-3] potential and I think Toronto
definitely got a steal here," said Robbie Earl, who had
14 goals as a freshman at Wisconsin last season.
forward Robbie Earl could barely contain his frustration after
being selected by Toronto late in the sixth round (187th overall),
a precipitous fall for a player ranked 59th among North American
skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service’s final ratings.
was probably one of the hardest things I’ve done,”
Earl said of his wait. “It’s kind of difficult being
projected a lot higher and falling back pretty far. I don’t
know what went on. But, hey, that’s where the chips fell.”
not alone. A lot of players feel they should have been taken Saturday.
Anaheim assistant general manager Dave McNab says prospects need
to look at the proceedings with a different perspective.
players here today sat through all day yesterday, and a lot of
them get here today and they're depressed,” McNab said.
“You see them moping around, and what they have to realize
is that getting taken in the fourth round of a professional draft
is a great thing.
Michigan recruit Kevin Porter expected to be taken on the second
day. His wait was a short one, going to Phoenix in the fourth
fairly confident that I was going to be picked at least sometime
during the nine rounds,” said Porter, a member of the U.S.
National Team Development Program last season. “I kind of
knew that coming in and I knew it was going to be tough, but I
told myself that’s where I was going to go – the second
day – and I’ve got to deal with it.”
fear belongs to the handful of prospects watching Sunday’s
selections knowing they could face the ultimate indignity –
leaving the arena undrafted.
was something we thought about,” said UMass Lowell forward
Ben Walter, a fifth-round selection of Boston. “But my [advisor]…thought
we should come and I’m glad we did.”