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Hanifin: Being chosen No. 5 by Hurricanes an honor

by Noah Hanifin

Noah Hanifin , No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, completed his freshman season at Boston College in Hockey East in 2014-15. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound left-shot defenseman had five goals and 23 points in 37 games. He also represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. He had eight goals and 33 points in 45 games for the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team in 2013-14. The native of Norwood, Mass., has offered to maintain a blog for leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes after he was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the fifth pick.

What an amazing day.

I didn't really get too much sleep last night; so many nerves. You dream of this moment your whole life and this day was pretty surreal. It's definitely a relief to get it over with and know what organization I'll be representing in the future.

I got up probably at 8 a.m. and went downstairs to the breakfast with Commissioner Bettman and all the top guys. We saw the Stanley Cup and some highlights from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that was pretty cool. I met with two teams this morning, Carolina was one of them and it went really well.

After breakfast I hung out at the hotel and did a workout with my trainer. Got a little bit of lunch and just rested and got ready to come to the arena.

That's when the butterflies set in. It was getting a little crazy, my family was getting excited.

We all knew how Connor McDavid would go No. 1 to the Oilers and Jack Eichel would go No. 2 to the Sabres. When the Coyotes went up for the third pick, I was prepared for anything. Coming into the draft I had no preferences and I wasn't expecting anything to happen. There were so many possibilities. You have to go in calm and whatever team trusts you and wants you is the team I want to go to.

When the Hurricanes called my name at No. 5, I can't even describe the feeling. I was so thrilled and excited. My dream was always to hear my name called at the NHL Draft, and I went to a team that wanted me. Obviously Carolina saw something in me and I'm going to work as hard as I can for this organization.

The first person I hugged was my little brother Cole; I'm really close with him. Then my sister Lilly and my mom, and then my dad. My dad has probably been the biggest influence on my hockey career.

Going up on stage and pulling on that Hurricanes jersey, it's such an honor. To be able to put on this uniform and know what team I could be representing in the future means so much to me. I'm going to work extremely hard to represent this sweater well.

This is just the beginning. Next I'm going to go home and start training for next season.

Thanks for following along on this blog.

Follow Noah Hanifin on Twitter: @nhanifin

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