A Chatham-Kent native is getting set for one of the biggest nights of his life.
18-year-old Travis Konecny, who's captain of the OHL's Ottawa 67's, is projected to go in the first round of tonight's NHL draft. At 5'10" and 175 lbs., considered small by NHL standards, Konecny uses the criticism of his size as motivation.
"There's a lot of impact players that are under 6'0" and guys who contribute a lot to their teams and help them win games, win series," says Konecny. "I use Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay Lightning) as an example, you look at the impact he had this year, you know it doesn't matter your size if you have the compete and the motivation to make it there than there's no excuses." The Clachan native is projected to be selected somewhere between the 10th and 20th overall pick, and is ranked by Central Scouting as the 14th best North American skater.
Other area players who may hear their names called on Day 2; Thamesville native and Belleville Bulls forward Trent Fox, ranked 139th among North American skaters; Windsor Spitfires forward Hayden McCool, who's ranked 147th by Central Scouting.
The draft is being held in Sunrise, Florida with the first round set for tonight, and rounds 2-through-7 set for tomorrow (Saturday).