-- Max Nicastro, the Red Wings third round draft choice in last month's NHL draft, was quick to point out how happy he is to be wearing the red and white after his first skate at the opening day of Detroit’s prospects camp at Joe Louis Arena Monday morning.
“I’m happy I’m here,” Nicastro said. “I’d definitely rather be here than anywhere else.”
In an article published by Ventura County Star, a California newspaper, Nicastro was quoted as saying, “my heart sank when the Red Wings called my name.”
Nicastro said this Monday that he was misunderstood, because more than anything, he was surprised to be drafted by the Red Wings.
“Really that’s not what I said,” Nicastro said. “They asked me if I thought I was going to be drafted by Detroit, and I said no I thought I was going to go to Nashville just because they had the most interest in me. They took it the wrong way … I had no clue I was going to be here.”
The 6-foot-2 defenseman from Thousand Oaks, Calif., said he’s thrilled to be a part of such a storied franchise, especially with the opportunity to learn from legendary former coach Scotty Bowman, who continues to act in a consulting capacity with the team. Nicastro said that Bowman, along with Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr, are his top choices of people he would take out to dinner.
“[Bowman’s] a legend,” Nicastro said. “I actually got to go out to dinner with him when I was up in Ottawa, after the draft, it was just an honor. I was actually sitting right behind him, but I was still able to talk to him, it was a great feeling. He was a great coach, and still is, and he’s a really good guy.”
However, if he had to choose a non-hockey personality to share a meal with, Nicastro said he would choose someone making headlines in U.S. politics.
“Maybe Barack Obama,” said Nicastro, of the Democratic nominee for U.S. President. “Just to see if he really means what he is saying for the upcoming presidential election.”
The Wings’ prospect plans to stick around for another year with the USHL’s Chicago Steel, then enroll at Boston University in 2009. He said that after his visit to the Terriers’ campus, he knew where he would be headed.
“I visited there about a year ago, and just fell in love with the city,” he said. “I had never been there before, I just loved that, the rink, the facilities, everything. When I met (assistant coach David) Quinn, he was a first round draft pick in the past, just seeing that I could learn a lot from him … every program there is awesome, and I think it’s the best fit for me.”