Day 2 is a bit more fast and furious than the first round, and things are a little more helter-skelter. Here's a few notes and files from future college players I collected over the day.
Rocco Grimaldi-Grimaldi admitted there was a bit of disappointment in not being selected in the first round of the draft, but he seemed to be over it by Saturday morning. The kid definitely has a great attitude. You can listen to his post-draft interview here: Rocco Grimaldi Audio File , or, if you like pictures, here's video of the same thing: Rocco Grimaldi video
Mario Lucia-Wow, what a day for him. He had to wait maybe a little longer than expected, but it had to have been an incredible feeling to have the hometown team pull off a trade to jump up and take him, in front of the hometown crowd. Lucia looked like someone that had just won the lottery after he was picked.
Lucia said he'll sit down with the Wild and make a decision about his future by the end of July. I have a hard time believing they'll advise him against going to the Gophers, even if that may be the better decision for him.
Michael Paliotta- Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Michael Paliotta discussed his style of play, as well as winning a gold medal at the U18s, heading to Vermont next year, and how he's improved over the past year: Michael Paliotta Audio File
Andy Welinski-Despite being from Minnesota, Andy Welinski didn't draw a lot of attention, even though he may be the best pro prospect out of this group when all his said and done. In this clip, he describes his game, as well as why he was happy he chose to play in the USHL this past season: Andy Welinski Audio File
Kyle Rau- Kyle's older brother Chad skipped seeing his brother get drafted to go fishing. That's a true Minnesotan. Going to the Panthers, it wasn't quite the same level of excitement as Lucia, but you could definitely tell Rau was thrilled to be drafted. Here's Rau's post-draft scrum: Kyle Rau Audio File
Seth Ambroz- And then there's the other end of the spectrum. Ambroz looked pretty devastated when he slipped into the fifth round. He tried to put on a tough exterior, but it was obvious that he was pretty hurt. You can hear his post-draft interview here: Seth Ambroz Audio File
Joseph LaBate-LaBate is already at Wisconsin this summer taking summer classes and working out with the rest of the Badgers. He said his goal is to play three years for the Badgers and then make it to the pros.
Eddie Wittchow-Wittchow didn't receive any sort of NHL interest until around Christmas-time this past season. It seems like it would be easy for a kid that all of sudden gets this tremendous amount of attention thrown at him to start believing the hype and get a big head. That doesn't seem like the case at all with Wittchow. I think it takes a lot of wisdom that most kids his age don't have to decide that he needs that extra year to develop in the USHL rather than trying to rush off to college hockey, and hopefully, he'll be a better player because of it. Wittchow said he'll be looking at Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Ohio State this summer, and would like to make a decision by the end of the summer, or maybe early next season.
Reid Boucher- Boucher still has a year of high school to finish before going to Michigan State, so he'll play in the USHL next year. For anyone worried that that extra year, combined with being a fourth round pick might push him in the direction of the OHL, this video probably eases some of those concerns: Reid Boucher video.