Blog Post by: Sean Day
About an hour before the first round of the draft, all of the guys on the bus got the notification that they had been followed by the Verified account on Twitter; and that’s when it all kind of sunk in, we were about to be drafted to the NHL.
On the Friday night, I watched my best friend, Max Jones get drafted to the Anaheim Ducks, which was probably one of the coolest moments for us. To have been playing hockey together since we were young, to finally becoming best friends at twelve and now getting to go through this whole process together – it’s obviously unreal.
The Saturday was the second through seventh rounds, so it’s a waiting game kind of day, but I’m not an overly negative person so I really didn’t mind. I got to watch the guys I grew up playing with in Michigan be selected throughout the morning. But then I got hinted that my name was going to be called soon and it was the most nerve-wracking moment in my life. I just sat there waiting, not knowing how to react. The wait was finally over when I heard my name, and I was hit with this sense of relief. In that moment I realized that it wasn’t about the rankings anymore – I was now the property of an NHL team. Not just any team either, I was the property of the New York Rangers.
Getting to share that moment with my parents, my brothers Graham and Spencer, and my billet family was pretty special – actually, it was unforgettable.
It was a quick turnaround for us on Sunday. We headed back to Rochester on Sunday morning and left for New York City that same night, which gave me less than 24 hours to pack and prepare for the week-long development camp that was ahead of me.
Being in New York that week was absolutely surreal. The city is so much different compared to where I grew up – you can’t walk anywhere without being surrounded by a ton of people. Not only is the city unbelievable, but the Rangers organization and staff are amazing. Everyone was so nice and positive, there were no negative vibes, and you could just tell that they want you there and want to help you succeed.
The camp itself was really some next level stuff. We saw Chris Kreider training, along with a bunch of AHL guys who are trying to make the NHL roster. The whole camp was basically a preview to show us what we had to do to make it to the next level – you can just tell it’s a professional environment. I was just doing my best to soak it all in and enjoy it.
Now things are almost back to normal. Everything is a bit different than before the draft, but it’s a lot less stressful. Before I was drafted, my focus was on training my hardest to get selected as high as I could, but now that all the media has gone away, I’m just aiming to please the Rangers and reaching the goals they set for me, rather than trying to please everybody. Even though everything has settled down media wise, the intensity of my training has gone up to try and reach those goals, but its fun again.
I guess you could look at it like people think we’re all kind of important now, but that’s not where my focus is. My focus is set on working towards making the team that drafted me. My focus is on earning a spot on the New York Rangers roster.