BostonBruins.com – Adam McQuaid did not receive a phone call or watch his name get called on live television.
No, McQuaid’s NHL Draft experience was a bit different.
The defenseman was picked by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round (55th overall) in 2005. That draft followed the 2004-05 lockout, which forced the event to be condensed into one day.
As a result, McQuaid was at home watching with about two dozen family and friends, frantically refreshing his computer.
Finally, he saw his name.
“It was kind of a unique draft because that was the year of the lockout, so it was unique in the sense of we really didn’t know what the draft order would be,” McQuaid remembered.
“It was a special day because I got to watch it at home, watch the first round on TV. The whole draft was done in one day, but the second round – I just kept refreshing on the computer and was lucky to see my name picked late in the second round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I just got to celebrate with friends and family so it was a pretty special memory for sure.”
McQuaid joined BostonBruins.com to reflect on his draft experience. The rest of the Q & A is below:
Did you have an idea of who you would be drafted by?
AM: “I had went to the combine, so I think I had interviewed with 20-something teams, didn’t really have any idea of anyone who was higher on me or anything else, had no idea going in.
“That was initially how I found out, refreshed the computer and saw my name there. Obviously got a call from the management at the time with the Blue Jackets and that was it.”
What was the reaction of your family and friends when you saw you had been picked?
AM: “There were quite a few of us actually. I don’t know exactly how many people, but there was probably in the neighborhood of 20-30 people at the time when I did get drafted. There was a lot of hooting and hollering and people who were pretty excited. I probably was the quietest of the bunch. Everyone was obviously excited.”
Do you view the NHL Draft as the kickoff to a new season?
AM: “I think so. I think for most guys, you’re following the playoffs and soon as the finals are over it’s a pretty quick turnaround until the draft. Again, it’s kind of, ‘OK, the season is completely wrapped up.’ Obviously you hear different things about potential moves and stuff that can happen at drafts. I think for everyone in general, just the fans of hockey, it’s exciting because it’s something, regardless of what team we cheer for, there’s something to be excited about.
“I think it’s something that everyone kind of looks forward to and enjoys watching. Maybe the uncertainty of knowing what can happen is a little different, but still a pretty cool day for everybody.”
Have you realized 11 years have passed since you were drafted?
AM: “Yeah…I didn’t really think about that. Yeah, that’s a long time. I guess at times you think about all the steps that you’ve taken since that point and all the hard work that you’ve put in to get where you’re at. But at the same time, time goes by pretty quick.
“It’s a pretty short career and you want to make the most of it. Who knows how much more time you have in the game and you want to enjoy it.”
Do you watch the Draft every year?
AM: “I usually do follow it. I try to make a point to watch it. Obviously if there’s something going on, I’ll still try to follow what’s going on. But I do enjoy watching that draft. Like I said, even for the players that play in the league they’re still fans of the game.
“The draft’s just kind of an exciting time to see what players are going to get picked where.”