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NHL Draft prospects are eagerly awaiting Friday night's event in Vancouver

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson /

On Thursday afternoon, several top prospects met with the media in Vancouver to discuss the NHL Draft and their experiences ahead of Friday's event at Rogers Arena.

Vasili Podkolzin (through a translator) on what he has learned from playing against men in Russia

"Being cold-blood ... poised on the ice."

Dylan Cozens on how he's feeling ahead of the first round

"This has been a dream of mine my whole life and now that it's tomorrow? It's crazy. It's hard to believe, honestly. It doesn't feel real. I'm just excited to get out there and hear my name called."

"It's nice that it's in Vancouver and it's so close to home so (my family) can come and watch."

Cozens on interviewing with NHL teams over the past month

"Some times you get a good feeling with some and maybe not a good feeling about another one but at the end of the day, things might not play out like you see it. Whenever I go, I'm going to be so happy."

Alex Turcotte on the wealth of talent in the U.S. National Team Development Program

"It's all the top players in the U.S. so we're going against each other every day and we're pushing each other, motivating each other. We all want to be the best so we just naturally compete against each other and that drives everyone up and makes everyone a better player."

"The game has grown so much in the United States over the last decade and it's contributed to the guys like Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews, Dylan Larkin - there's so many of those superstars who have come through the NTDP. We all look up to those guys and it's pretty cool to see their success. We want to be where they are some day."

Turcotte on how he describes his game

"The biggest asset of my game is my 200-foot style where I am competing offensively and defensively. I think I'm really reliable on the defensive side but I think offensively, I make my teammates better. I'm one of the most skilled players in the draft and can make things happen."

Kirby Dach on his friendship with fellow WHLer Cozens

"When we're on the ice, we're battling and competing for a position but Dylan and I have a mature relationship off the ice where we're happy for each other if one of us does better than the other. It's a friendly competition. In this age, this day, you don't really have enemies that are like that because we have a friendship that's pretty strong and you don't want to break that bond."

Trevor Zegras on how he's feeling ahead of the first round

"It was actually pretty tough to sleep last night. I was just excited to get the day going. It's the NHL, right? I've been waiting for this for a long time."

Zegras on the talent in the first round

"I know one and two (referring to Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko) are pretty good but I think after that, I don't think it's a huge drop-off. I think everyone who gets picked in the top 10 are going to play at a really high level. I think it's a really good draft."

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