Devils take Patrick Daly with final pick in '11
Minnesota native will patrol blue line for Wisconsin in the fall
For Patrick Daly, however, the realization of that lifelong goal didn't come without some anxious moments. The puck-moving defenseman was the Devils' final selection of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, going in the seventh round, 189th overall on Saturday.
"Your heart kind of sinks a little once you see that seventh round sneak up on you," said the Victoria, Minn., product. "You see local kids that you've grown up with and they get drafted, but once I heard my name, there as nothing but excitement, and the whole process has been nothing but an exciting one."
It was even sweeter because it happened so close to home. Victoria is less than an hour's drive from the Xcel Energy Center, which hosted this year's event.
"The Draft's only here every so often," he said. "It's great to just walk down the stairs and hear your name called. It was an exciting feeling and a whole bunch of emotions just ran through me. But to put on that jersey – especially from the New Jersey Devils – is a great feeling and I'm so honored."
Daly measures 6-0, 180 lbs., and calls Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith as his favorite player. He posted three goals, 37 assists for 40 points in just 27 games with Benilde-St. Margaret's High School, and will attend Wisconsin (WCHA) in the fall.
"It's fun. I'm actually there right now taking summer school and training," said Daly. "The workout program is a whole new step compared to high school. It gives you a whole new definition of hard work."