TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – If you follow the Red Wings on Twitter, you might have seen a cute retweet of two photos from Jordan Sambrook.
Sambrook, 18, was the Wings' fifth-round draft choice, 137th overall, in last month's NHL draft in Buffalo, a right-shot defenseman.
The day after he was drafted, Sambrook (@JordanS_9), tweeted out, "2 months of age and 18 years later! Two of the best moments in my life!”
The first photo showed baby Jordan in the Stanley Cup being held by Kris Draper, currently a special assistant to Wings general manager Ken Holland.
The second photo showed Draper and a much taller Jordan, now 6-foot-2, at First Niagara Center after the draft ended.
"Jordan, after we drafted him he came around the table and shook everyone’s hands and everything and then we still had a couple more rounds to go and got up after the draft and went up to the suite," Draper said during the second day of development camp. "I walked in and some people were kind of giggling a little bit and then Jordan’s mom pulled her phone out to say we want to show you a picture. Obviously it was Jordan sitting in the Stanley Cup. He was maybe (a couple) months old. It was in my backyard and I guess my sister (Lori) and Jordan’s mom (Karen) worked together, so seeing that picture made me feel old for sure. He was a newborn kid but it was real cool."
Draper said that after the Wings won the Cup for the second time, he had an all-day party, which is when Sambrook's mom brought him over to pose with Draper and the Stanley Cup.
"We interviewed Jordan at the combine and I know his mom and dad were saying that they wanted him to tell me the story at the combine," Draper said. "But obviously he was too shy and too nervous to do it. But it all worked out."
Sambrook was not too shy to post the photos on his Twitter account.
"He posted the picture of he and I when he was sitting in the Cup, and then 18 years later we're in Buffalo and he’s a Red Wings draft pick," Draper said. "Yeah, it’s a pretty small world."
Sambrook said he was thrilled to officially meet Draper after the draft.
"It was pretty cool," Sambrook said. "We showed him the picture there. I don't know if he remembered it or not but obviously he liked the picture. Getting the picture there with him too was a pretty cool experience."
Draper said he got a chance to watch Sambrook with the OHL's Erie Otters.
"I saw him play the last couple years," Draper said. "Obviously, playing in Erie where two years ago certainly everyone was watching Connor McDavid and Jordan was playing, and once again this year Erie had a good team, so we got to see him play quite a bit. I know both of our OHL scouts saw him play quite a bit. I was able to see him play about a half dozen times as well. He’s good size. He’s a right-handed D-man. He’s got good hockey sense and I know when both of our OHL scouts talked to Erie’s coach this guy had a lot of positive things to say about Jordan as a hockey player and as a prospect."
Now the only way to complete the circle would be for Sambrook to play for the Wings and win the Stanley Cup and pose with Draper for a new photo with the Cup.
"Hopefully," Sambrook said. "That's the ultimate goal."