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Mark Jankowski looks back on his draft day in 2012

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 /

What do you remember most from your draft journey?

I remember it being a pretty long day. I had interviews in the morning and went out for lunch with my family afterwards and before I knew it, it was time to head down for the draft. I remember just feeling so excited and how cool it was to see the whole set up in person with the draft tables and the stage. I met with Calgary in the morning and I had a feeling that they would pick me when it was their turn and luckily I turned it off because when I turned it back on it was buzzing like crazy. It was special to share that moment with my family.

Was there anyone who you leaned on during your draft process?

I had a great support group with my coaches and my family. They were so supportive all season long and helped me stay level-headed. Throughout the season there are always ups and downs and they were huge in helping me not get too down on myself when things weren't going my way and in turn helped me not get overconfident. It was important to find that happy medium and they were a big reason for that.

Was there any advice given to you before the draft?

Everyone I was talking to would tell me to just focus on my season, my game and most importantly to have fun. They would also remind me that everything would fall into place if I stayed focused and that all the hard work that I had put in would pay off.

What was it like having pre-draft interviews with several teams?

I met with a lot during the combine and it was a surreal experience. There were a few teams that wanted to meet me the day of the draft which gave me the impression that there was a lot of interest. It was cool to meet with all the faces of the organizations and get a feel of what they were expecting and wanting. Calgary was actually one of the teams that I also met on Draft Day and I left with a good feeling afterwards which then led to them drafting me.

How did it feel when you heard your name called and walked up on the stage?

It felt like it all happened so fast. I almost blacked out until I was taking the draft pictures because it was a moment of 'wow this is happening.' I don't remember too much of walking on stage and shaking hands but I do remember putting the jersey on for the first time which was a surreal feeling. It felt like everything was going in super speed and before I knew it, it was over and then it really sunk in that I was drafted.

How was the transition from draft day to development camp?

It was a quick flip of the switch for me. A lot of people get drafted but not everyone is able to make a career out of it, and that's something I was reminding myself as development camp inched closer. Being drafted was just the beginning of the real goal I had of making the NHL. It was a big experience for me meeting all these different players and taking in all of the information they were giving out. It was an eye-opener from learning how to treat your body to what you need to do to get to the next level and everything in-between.

If you could go back in time what would you tell yourself?

Work hard, don't leave anything on the table and enjoy every step of the way. I would also tell myself to loosen up a bit and just go out and have fun when you hit the ice. You play this game because you love it, it's a lot of hard work to get drafted but it's a lot of fun too.

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