Nicolas Hague, No. 20 on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas, had 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists), and six power-play goals in 65 games with Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-5, 207-pound left-handed defenseman has maintained a draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the draft at United Center in Chicago. His final blog comes after he was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round (No. 34) on Saturday.
Hello everyone. It’s been a very interesting weekend here in Chicago.
Yesterday I got to sleep in a little bit. Went out and had breakfast with my roommate, Cameron Crotty, and my agent at the hotel. Then me and my family went out to explore a little bit. We went to Navy Pier, then out to Millennium Park, saw the Cloud Gate sculpture, which looks like a giant bean. We had lunch on the pier. Just tried to enjoy the day. It’s my second time in Chicago and I’ve never really explored the city.
When we got to the arena, that’s when I started getting really nervous, really anxious. I didn’t really know what was going to happen. I was just sitting there, trying to take it all in, enjoy the experience. You only get to do this once in your life. I was there with my mom, my dad. My grandmother was there with me. We were just really trying to enjoy it all.
It was disappointing when the night ended and I wasn’t picked. It was a goal I had set for myself, to get into that first round.
This morning I got up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and headed over here. I’m glad it didn’t take long. When I heard my name called it’s a bit of a relief. It’s a dream to hear your name at the NHL Draft and that dream became a reality. It’s an exciting moment I got to share with my mom, my dad, my grandmother. My mom and dad have been right there with me through every step of his journey. To be there side by side with them and be able to hug my mom right away, it’s a pretty special feeling. Nice to be able to share this with them.
I got to talk to some of the Vegas people briefly at their table. I know Scott Luce, their head amateur scout. I played with and against Griffin Luce, his son, throughout minor hockey and he’s one of my good buddies to this day. It’s nice to have that connection and have that familiarity with a scout there as well.
I’m extremely happy where I ended up. To be a part of the new wave of the NHL with Vegas, it’s pretty special and I’m happy to be a part of it.
My future now is in my hands. I can make of it what I want to. I’m going to go into training camp and make a name for myself. I want to go in and really put my foot down and I want to make a statement that I’m trying to make the team. Realistically I think I’ll end up on Mississauga next year but I’m never going to count myself out. Last night it was a bit of a disappointment not going in the first round. But I’ll take those emotions from last night and it’ll be motivation for me. It’s going to be motivation for me to be one of the best defensemen in this draft, to make that statement and play a long NHL career.
Thanks everyone for following along this season.