PITTSBURGH, PA - Matt DeBlouw had a long sit in the stands at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh before hearing his name called in the seventh round, 186th overall by the Calgary Flames.
He’s ok with that.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks forward was happy to fulfill a lifelong goal of being selected in the NHL Draft.
“It’s a dream come true,” DeBlouw said. “Last night, I couldn’t really sleep. I was really nervous. Just growing up wanting to be in the NHL and now I’m finally here. The hard work really paid off. I’m really thankful.”
Thankful was one of many words DeBlouw used to describe his emotions.
“I’m relieved, I’m happy, I’m nervous still,” he said. "I’m just happy.”
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to prove a few people wrong for making him wait to hear his name called.
“Sitting in the stands, I was just hoping for that one team,” DeBlouw said. “I guess you could call myself a hidden gem. I’m just going to keep my head up. This is still an honor. I’m just happy for Calgary for picking me and I’m going to show them why they picked me.”
And show 29 other teams why they should’ve?
“Exactly,” he said. “To play in the NHL, I’ll do anything.”
Anything the team needs, it would seem.
“I’m a playmaker that can score I’m a shutdown center that can shut down anyone they want,” DeBlouw said. “I give that burst of energy that the fans need or the team needs.”
The first step to giving what the Flames need is coming. DeBlouw has committed to Michigan State to continue his hockey career after graduating from the United States Hockey League.
“This is just day one, the beginning of something good,” he said. “I just have to work hard in college and hopefully it turns out to be good. I have high expectations. I have a fresh start and I’m going to show a lot of guys what I can do.”
And show that he’s worth the wait.