|Jayce Hawryluk was all smiles after being |
chosen by Florida in the second round of the
NHL Draft Saturday.
The Roblin product and Brandon Wheat Kings’ forward was chosen by the Florida Panthers with the second pick of the second round, 32nd overall.
“They contacted me and they said that I was their guy at #32 so they kept to their promise and I appreciate that, it means a lot,” said Hawryluk, who also acknowledged Wheat Kings’ GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon during his post-draft media rounds, “For Kelly to be there, it means a lot. He’s helped me along my way. He’s the reason I’m here today and getting picked so early. I couldn’t have done it without him as my coach and GM.”
The 5-foot-10, 190 pound Hawryluk led the Wheat Kings in scoring with 24 goals and 64 points in 61 games during the 2013-2014 WHL regular season and added five goals and 12 points in eight playoffs games.
“It’s a dream come true. You work your whole life to come to this moment,” added Hawryluk, “To hear your name called out, it’s hard to explain. A lot of emotions right now, pretty jittery.”
Ironically, Hawryluk has also the 32nd overall pick of the WHL Bantam Draft by the Wheat Kings’ three years ago (2011).
Richard Nejezchleb was also chosen on day two of the NHL Draft, going to the New York Rangers in the fifth round, 122nd overall.
Hawryluk, Nejezchleb and New Jersey first rounders John Quenneville make it at least three Wheat Kings being chosen in the NHL Draft in the same year for the first time since 2003.
Hawryluk has also one of three Manitobans chosen, joining Philadelphia first rounder and Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim and Winnipeg product Brett Lernout of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, who went in the third round to the Montreal Canadiens.