Drew Helleson was selected by the Colorado Avalanche at No. 47 overall in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The 6-foot-3, 194-pound defenseman played the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Michigan. The Farmington, Minnesota, native recorded 63 points (10 goals and 53 assists) in 125 career games with Team USA from 2017 to 2019 and won a bronze medal at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship.
The 18-year-old is set to continue his hockey career next season at Boston College--the same school that Alex Newhook, Colorado's No.16 overall pick, is also committed to.
Helleson sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com recently after he arrived in Denver for the team's development camp.
How has Denver been so far?
"I talked to a few of the guys, and the trainers have all been good to me. I am excited to get to know the guys. There is some pretty good competition out there, so I am going to try to get better and learn what it's like to be a pro."
What was your favorite part about playing with the U.S. National Team Development Program?
"We had a really good team. For me, it was probably just how close we were as a team. All the traveling we did, all the bus rides, the plane rides, going overseas, just being around each other as much as we were."
What are you looking forward to the most playing at Boston College?
"I'm mostly just excited to get out there. Again, I think we are going to have a great team. We have a bunch of really good young guys coming in. Alex Newhook is here, and I got to know him a little bit since I have been here and he seems like an unreal player. So I am excited to get out there and play with him."
What was your draft day like?
"I woke up, and I was with my family in the morning. There wasn't much talk; I think everyone was a little nervous. And once you hear your name called, it's kind of just a blur. You get up and do what everyone else does like hug your family, go down the stairs and before you know it you are wearing an NHL jersey. There are microphones in your face, pictures, it's just insane."
Do you have any pregame routines?
"Not really, I am not very superstitious. I kind of just get to the rink and prepare myself and maybe get a few sticks ready."
What would you say are some of your strengths on the ice?
"I think I am hard to play against. That is something that I've worked on a lot this past year and being able to shutdown guys."
If you weren't at development camp, what would you be doing?
"Fishing at our family cabin in northern Minnesota. Actually when I get back on Sunday, I am going to go up on Monday for the Fourth of July."
What is your favorite app on your phone?
"I'm a big baseball guy. Right now the Twins are really good, so I would probably say the MLB app."