Do you remember your prom night? Wait—I should rephrase: do you remember your prom day? Do you remember the excitement that lasted all day? Do you remember taking a shower in the afternoon while your suit (or tux) patiently waited on a hanger? Maybe Mom helped iron your shirt? Maybe Dad took you aside and said, “no matter what happens, you’ll always remember tonight.” Maybe your little sister was excited and was taking 6.2 pictures per second for three hours straight. Grandma said you looked all grown up. A friend shares a look with you—and you know that he shares the same excitement pulsing through his veins.
That’s the part that no one tells you about the NHL Draft. TSN will talk about how Player A will fit into Team X’s organizational philosophy. International Scouting Services will tell you about the same player’s skating, passing ability, and shooting accuracy.
Craig Button will tell you about his hockey IQ and Pierre McGuire will tell you where he played bantam hockey. But who tells you how the kid is feeling two hours before he shows up to CONSOL Energy Center for the biggest day of his budding professional career?
It’s never more apparent than when you’re actually at an NHL Entry Draft. You’ll see kids that look like they aren’t old enough to drive, wearing suits and trying to act like they’re older than their face reveals. These kids are 17 and 18 years old. Read that again: these kids are teenagers. Now think of a cousin, friend, or even friend’s child who is the same age. Can you imagine gambling millions of dollars on what kind of adult they’ll be? Forget gambling on what they’ll grow up to be—you’re gambling on how good they’ll be when they do it.
After all, every single prospect at the draft has a unique experience.