As he went from his inaugural meeting with the media to a room deep in the bowels of Rogers Arena to place his signature on a Predators puck for the first time, Philip Tomasino was just trying to take it all in.
"It's so surreal right now," the centerman said, Nashville cap on, his last name affixed to a Gold jersey.
Well, believe it, Philip. The dream has come true.
Predators Assistant General Manager Jeff Kealty called Tomasino's name on Friday night in Vancouver with the 24th selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, a centerman the club was ecstatic to land in what was considered to be a deep pool of prospects.
Full of personality, Tomasino was just as thrilled as he stepped to the podium to take questions as a member of the Preds for the first time.
"It's unreal," Tomasino said. "You can't really describe it… and it's easily the best night of my life. To be selected by Nashville, it's an awesome organization and I'm looking forward to the future."
That future is promising for the 6-0 center who just completed his second season with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, a campaign that saw him post 32 goals and 72 points in 67 games, a 48-point improvement from his rookie season in 2017-18.
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Tomasino says he models his game after Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel, and while he believes there are areas to improve - he's only 17, after all - there is plenty of upside to his overall game.
Video: Philip Tomasino joins the Predators
"I'm a guy that's a pretty good skater, likes to drive the play with his speed, and I like to have the puck on my stick," Tomasino said of his on-ice style. "I'm a guy who can make plays for himself and for his teammates, and I'm just kind of a 200-foot center that competes all over the ice and just gets the job done for his team."
Tomasino had an idea Nashville was interested after having a few meetings with the club during the NHL Scouting Combine last month, but to become a member of the organization is an experience all on its own.
"Throughout the Draft it was definitely a little nerve-wracking, and to finally get my name called, it just feels like I was in a dream, Tomasino said. "I can't really describe what it feels like, but to finally be here and have my name called by a special organization, it's awesome."
Tomasino's mother, father and sister, as well as his advisor, were in attendance, and he made sure to thank every one of them for helping him reach this point in the journey. The next stop will take him to a town he's never been to for Development Camp in Nashville, but he's about to find out what makes Music City such a special spot.
Perhaps it will have sunk in by then that he's now a member of an NHL club, but don't blame him if he's still taking it all in.
It's really something to be living in a dream.
"To finally get my name called by them, it's an amazing feeling," Tomasino said. "I'm just so thankful for them giving me this opportunity."