Jake Oettinger was No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft after his freshman season at Boston University in Hockey East. He has maintained a monthly draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas at United Center in Chicago on Friday. In his final post, Oettinger writes about draft day and being selected by the Dallas Stars with the 26th pick.
Hi hockey fans. What a weekend it has been for me and my family in Chicago at the 2017 NHL Draft.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon and was reunited with my brother and sister, Jackson and Victoria, who I am extremely close with. My other two brothers, Kendall and Thomas, were a little too young for the draft but I was still thinking about them.
I hung out on Thursday with the family and had an awesome dinner with my representation. I'm represented by world-class guys, and I can also attribute what happened [on Friday] to the work they did all year.
The morning of the first round [on Friday], I woke up and thought, "Wow, the day it finally here. It's draft day." I just tried to stay busy so I wouldn't think about it too much.
Video: Stars draft G Jake Oettinger No. 26
Through the first 20 picks or so I was just laid back and relaxed and then came pick No. 21. I thought "It's go time now." The fact Dallas traded up to select me is crazy but such an honor. I'm so excited to be a part of such an unbelievable organization.
To hear [NHL Commissioner] Mr. Gary Bettman say to me when I reached the stage, "Welcome to the NHL," was probably the coolest words I've ever heard in my life. I don't even know if I fully realize how great this is, but all the Dallas people are first class. I had a good feeling about them after I left the interview with them at the NHL Scouting Combine.
It was a great interview; [Dallas general manager] Mr. Jim Nill was an extremely nice guy and I just had a good vibe when I was in that room. Obviously, with the goalie situation in Dallas, it's a pretty open group. They signed Ben Bishop, who is a stud and an unbelievable NHL goalie. The fact they have him is great, and I'll be able to learn a ton from him. He's one of the best goalies in the whole League so hopefully I can kind of have him as a mentor.
Video: Steve talks to Jake Oettinger
For me being a goalie, you never know when you're going to be picked so I was just trying to be relaxed. I'm really here to spend time with my family and get to go through this whole experience with them. It was a memory I'll keep forever.
Thank you for reading all season, hockey fans. I hope you enjoyed my diary.