Gabriel Landeskog talked with members of the media shortly after being chosen second overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Below is a transcript of his press conference.
Can you describe what it was like to hear your name at number two? A tremendous feeling. At first I got a little ahead of myself there when I heard the Kitchener Rangers, because Ryan Murphy was obviously up there, but a tremendous feeling.
A bit surreal, obviously, being there with my family. I was just telling my dad all the time that I couldn't believe this was happening and I was actually there. But really excited. Extremely excited. Did they say they were going to pick you in conversations leading up to this? I had a good feeling after the combine. But at the same time there is so much going on and so many rumors going around. I pretty much heard all the possible scenarios.
So I couldn't take anything for granted. Didn't really want to get ahead of myself too much either, just going into the draft and enjoying the whole thing.
What excites you the most about going in? Well, just, obviously the tradition of the hockey club. I remember having Peter Forsberg up on my wall when I was a little kid, and I also had the 2001 Stanley Cup winning team poster up in my room.
That's my goal to be in that picture one day and to be there with the Colorado Avalanche. I'm very excited.
Is there satisfaction for you to have that number two tag? Well, obviously you want to go into the draft and do as good as you can. But at the same time the most important thing is to go with a team and an organization that really wants you and wants you to succeed. So that's pretty much just the mindset I had going in.
It didn't really matter if I went number 2 or number 7. It would still be up to me and up to me to do the best thing. How did the Kitchener Rangers influence your decision to go into the OHL? The Kitchener Rangers have been outstanding, nothing but first class all the way. They believed in me from day one. They made the trade with the Plymouth Whalers in August two years ago.
I really remember that day. I was extremely happy just to join an organization like that. For me to be able to develop not only as a player, but also as a person and mature in my own way, and, obviously, moving away from home was a big factor.
Can you speak about what Colorado's told you, if they have at all, what you can improve on for the season? I haven't really heard too much yet. I just shook all their hands and just introduced myself. They were really excited, and so was I. So that's pretty much where we're at right now.
Thoughts when your name was called and what was going through your mind? Just a tremendous honor. Just a tremendous honor to be picked to the Colorado Avalanche and obviously to the National Hockey League. The draft is just a step on the way. I obviously have a long way to go.
Obviously, being part of a National Hockey League club right now is a dream come true. But saying that I've got a long way to go and got a lot of things I need to work on. I'm more than willing to put the work down.
What is your goal? My goal is to make the team in the fall and in training camp. If I sit here and say anything else, I'd be lying to you guys. Like I said, I've got things to work on during the summer. But when it comes to training camp, it's up to me to show the management and the coaching staff I'm there to stay.
Have you been to Denver? Never been to Denver, no. I've only heard great things about it. Paul Fixter was my assistant coach in Kitchener. He said it was the most beautiful place he's ever of lived in.
Gabriel, is this the cap you're going to use to have Peter sign it? Yeah, maybe I'll do that. For those of you who haven't heard the story yet. Paul Fixter brought me a hat when he was in Denver this year. He brought it back signed by Peter Forsberg, and unfortunately he spelled my name wrong. He spelled it Gabrielle. But I was laughing when I saw it and made me motivated even more to get another hat, and hopefully he'll sign this one.
You still didn't have a chance to talk to him? No.