The Scenic Route…

Hey! Happy Monday – some good hockey over the weekend, anyone else finding the Leafs more entertaining to watch lately (from the gal who went to bed before the Rangers scored from centre ice)?

During the Thursday night game vs the Predators and then on Saturday night during coaches’ corner there was a lot of talk about players who were drafted in the NINTH round of the NHL Draft – I think there were three players in that game who were picked at the very tail end of the draft.

Now the draft only has 8 rounds, so the last guy picked would be around the 250th pick.

Then on Saturday night’s Coaches’ Corner, Don Cherry talked about Joel Ward who was drafted 240th into the OHL and never drafted into the NHL.

He was a walk-on for the Sharks and now leads them in scoring (10th in the entire NHL).

Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?

Never drafted, then make an NHL team as a walk-on and become their top scorer?

It probably didn’t feel that way when he finished his OHL career and no one wanted to sign him to a pro contract, so he played a full career in the CIS.

Then got a chance with the Wild, then back to the AHL, then the Preds, then the Caps and finally the Sharks.

That is 18 YEARS from the time he started his OHL career until now and just over 10 years before he had a regular gig in the NHL.

And here are a few guys who were late round draft picks that did okay…

Henrik Lundqvist – 205th
Henrik Zetterberg – 210th
Pekka Rinne – 258th
Brian Elliott – 291st

I am a realist, I know the chances of making it to the NHL are slim and making it as a walk is almost impossible, but you decide when that door is closed. The only way there is zero chance of you making it at the next level is if you quit.

There’s your thought for Monday – have a great one!