What do you remember most from your draft journey?
I remember all the emotions running through my head. The nerves were one, excitement was another and I tried to sit back and relax because I knew that it was out of my hands once draft day arrived. It was special to share a moment like that with the people closest to me and being able to have my parents and sister sitting beside me to celebrate was something I'll always remember.
Was there anyone who you leaned on during your draft-eligible season?
My whole family was huge to have by side during the season, they helped motivate and also encourage me to keep pushing myself because they wanted the best for me. My dad and I would talk a lot which was a huge help for me to know that he was there to always chat no matter what. It helped me feel at ease having such a great support system around me.
Did you receive any advice ahead of the draft?
I talked with everyone within the organization from teammates, coaches and management and they were all pretty personal and in depth conversations. The best advice that I took away was that it didn't matter who picks you, how high you go or even if you go undrafted, the opportunity is going to be there if you play your game. It helped me have the mindset of being happy to be drafted wherever but I was extremely excited to be picked by Calgary.
What was it like having pre-draft interviews with several teams?
I spoke with almost every team except maybe one or two. It was cool to experience and one of my favourite things of the whole process to see all the different philosophies, know what they are looking for and how they want players to play once in their system. I learned a lot talking to great hockey minds who have been around the game for a long time and it was surreal because they were there wanting to get to know more about me.
How did it feel when your name called and you walked up on the draft stage?
I remember sitting there hearing names being called and seeing guy's head down and I was wondering when I would hear mine and finally, when Calgary called my name I was in a little bit of shock and relief. The shock was because I couldn't believe that I was drafted; it was something I dreamt about but never knew how it would feel. When I walked up on stage to shake hands with everyone and put on the jersey for the first time it really started to hit that it was real and that I was that much closer to making the NHL.
How was the transition from draft day to development camp to main training camp?
My goal was to make the NHL right away and that work began before the draft and once I knew where I was going the real work started to kick in. I wanted to make an impression in development camp and get to main camp to show that I can play with NHL players and that I belonged there. It was a grind but once I was around full-time NHL payers it made things easier knowing that they were willing to help out as much as possible and it was nice getting to know them as not just players but people. It was important to have the right attitude to be successful.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself in your draft-eligible season?
Just to sit back and relax because it's one of those moments you'll remember forever and something to cherish experiencing with family and the people closest around. You want to go as a high as you can but don't let that be your sole motivation, be motivated to be the best player you can be and the know that the next day is a new day and everyone is on the same slate after that. Enjoy the moment and make the most out of it.