The 2014 NHL Entry Draft will take place on June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. SARampage.com takes a look back at previous drafts as players recall their memories from the year they were drafted. The series continues with forward Garrett Wilson. Check out the first installment with defenseman Colby Robak
Position: Left Wing
Drafted: Fourth-round draft pick (#107 overall) of the Florida Panthers in the 2009 NHL Draft
What’s your most vivid memory from the draft?
It was definitely a cool experience. Hearing my name called was the best feeling I ever had. You go down and shake hands with everyone at the table and put a jersey on. Then you go behind the scenes and do a couple photo shoots. Each team has a suite, so I went up there and took some family photos and talked to other guys in the organization and other guys that Florida picked. It was just a cool experience.
Were you expecting Florida to take you?
I had met with them at the combine and thought they might take me, but you talk to a lot of teams before the draft so you never really know where you’re going to end up. You could end up with a team you never even talk to, so you never know. But when they were picking, I got a little more excited than when other teams were.
The 2009 draft was at the Bell Centre in Montreal. What was the atmosphere like?
When I was younger, I had been to the Air Canada Centre, but I had never been to the Bell Centre. It was cool to see what that place was like because I’d heard so much about it. It’s one of the best rinks in the league, and the atmosphere on that Friday night for the first round was really cool.
Where is your draft jersey now?
I have it framed in my house.
Did you get a lot of phone calls and texts from friends and family congratulating you after you were drafted?
I got a lot of texts. My Facebook blew up too. There was a lot of support from my hometown. I come from a pretty small town, so they all were texting and calling and congratulating me. It was pretty cool to see the support I had.