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Shinkaruk will use draft disappointment as motivation

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Hunter Shinkaruk grew up in Calgary and went to games at Scotiabank Saddledome, so when he saw the Flames walk to the podium at the 2013 NHL Draft to make the 22nd pick, he admits he was hopeful his name would be called.

Shinkaruk, who was No. 6 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American prospects, said he had expected to go in the top 15, maybe the top 10. But as the wait got longer, he actually got a bit hopeful knowing the Flames were coming up with their second of three first-round picks.

"There definitely was some nerves," Shinkaruk said. "Going into the draft I didn't know where I ranked. But once 20 came, 21, 22, 23, it was a little bit stressful."

When the Flames' turn came up, Shinkaruk got hopeful.

"When I saw Calgary go up there, it was something that I thought would be pretty cool, to go to Calgary and play in my hometown," he said. "When they went up there, I'm not going to lie, I thought maybe my name would be called, and it wasn't. It was a little tough."

The Flames instead picked Gatineau Olympiques forward Emile Poirier, who has joined Shinkaruk to play for Canada at this week's national junior evaluation camp; Vancouver, with the 23rd pick, then chose Shinkaruk. But Shinkaruk said the Flames passing on him would stay in the back of his mind.

"Emile is a great player and a great kid," Shinkaruk said. "He deserved to go there. It'll definitely be in the back of my mind whenever I play Calgary now."

Shinkaruk said lasting until the bottom third of the first round will be a motivating factor going forward, similar to how he treated the Western Hockey League when he slipped to the Medicine Hat Tigers at No. 14 in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

"It was the same for the bantam draft," he said. "I looked at it the same. I feel like I proved the teams that didn't take me in the bantam draft wrong, and that's my goal for the NHL draft."

Shinkaruk hasn't had much time this summer to dwell on the events of the draft. He had Vancouver's rookie camp, as well as the Canadian national junior camp. And on Aug. 6, he signed his entry-level deal with the Canucks.

"That was huge, to show that trust in me, to sign me to a contract after the draft … was pretty exciting," he said. "I wanted to sign right away and the fact they did that gave me some confidence. Now it's up to me to prove them right."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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