Leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, the Rampage will revisit the draft memories of several players recently selected by the Florida Panthers.
See below as defenseman Alex Petrovic discusses his memories of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Selected in the second round, 26th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft
Drafted from the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels
What are some of your memories of the Draft?
It was me and my family and a couple buddies out in Los Angeles for the Draft. Before the Draft you have to go through interviews with all the teams, kind of like the NFL Combine. It can be pretty nerve-wracking. The first round was on Thursday and I was pretty disappointed not to be selected. But I went early in the second round for Florida and I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to prove myself to the Panthers. Looking back, I should have enjoyed it a little more. I was pretty stressed out during the couple days I was out there.
What was it like when you heard the Panthers call your name?
It was a huge weight off my shoulders. But as soon as you get picked, you know it’s time to get ready to prove yourself. Not being picked in the first round really wanted to make me prove to the other teams that they had made a mistake.
How was the atmosphere in Staples Center?
There was a lot of media and a lot of fans in the arena. When the Kings had their pick, the place just exploded. It was really cool to be part of and definitely a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
That draft was kind of unique for the Panthers because they had so many picks early on in the draft. Florida had five selections in the first 36 picks. Did all of you guys picked by the Panthers have a chance to get to know each other after the draft?
I already knew Quinton (Howden) and Johnny (McFarland) because we played together for Team Canada in the Under-18 World Championships. We didn’t have much time to actually hang out at the draft because there are so many little things you have to do. But it was nice heading to camp already knowing a couple guys who were going to be in the same spot.
Did you know that Florida was especially interested in selecting you?
I was projected to be drafted in the late first round or early second round. Obviously everyone wants to be picked in the first round, so I was a little disappointed not to be selected earlier. But when I did hear my name called by the Panthers I was really excited and couldn’t wait to get to camp. Once you get to camp, it really doesn’t matter where you were drafted. Nobody talks about that stuff. It just comes down to whether or not you can play at the NHL level.
Draft Memories Archive: