Calgary Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane recalls NHL Draft roller coaster – Calgary

The first in-person NHL Draft since 2019 will see teenagers hear their names announced inside the cavernous Bell Center before hugging family members, taking the stage and donning hats and jerseys. a new team.

Andrew Mangiapane finally had that experience. It just took time. A long, long time.

The winger appeared in all seven rounds of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

His name was never called.

« It was difficult, » Mangiapane said in an interview years later. « It was difficult to be in this draft and not be selected. »

Read more:

Montreal Canadiens discuss potential picks ahead of NHL Draft

After a 51-point rookie season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League that spring, the Toronto native was then invited to Arizona Coyotes rookie camp that summer.

The story continues under the ad

Unable to secure a contract, Mangiapane returned to the OHL, had 43 goals and 104 points in 2014-15, and was eligible to be drafted again when the NHL reconvened in Florida the following June.

The then 19-year-old – who also missed the OHL draft at age 15 before continuing with the Colts – just wasn’t sure if he wanted to attend the event a second time.

Click to play the video:

The Canadiens reveal their top picks for Thursday’s NHL Draft in Montreal

The Canadiens reveal their top picks for Thursday’s NHL Draft in Montreal

His family convinced him otherwise.

“It was in Florida, so they said, ‘We’re going to take a trip. We’ll go out a week early and just hang out at the hotel and on vacation and just go to the beach,” Mangiapane said.

But on the big day when Connor McDavid came first overall, Mangiapane was again forced to wait.

The story continues under the ad

Read more:

Edmonton Oilers select Connor McDavid first overall in 2015 NHL Draft

And then wait again – again.

He was reliving the nightmare a second time as name after name came off the board, and his remained.

« A crazy experience, » said Mangiapane. « My dad looked at me and he literally said, ‘I’m sorry I brought you here.’ He literally said, « You are not chosen. »

« It was hollow when I heard my father say that. »

The mood, however, quickly changed when the Calgary Flames finally ended Mangiapane’s turmoil with their sixth-round selection, 166th overall.

« It was an incredible feeling, » he said. « It was worth it. »

Read more:

London Knights: Next NHL Draft will be an “exciting time”

Few players in his situation make the NHL and become regulars, but Mangiapane, who attributes much of his success to the late Dale Hawerchuk from their time together in Barrie, got there in 2017-18 and ended up staying there.

The 26-year-old has carved out a fine career with the Flames, scoring 78 goals and 132 points in 260 regular season games.

The story continues under the ad

He has added 12 points in 27 playoff games and is a pending restricted free agent after completing a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$2.425 million.

Not bad for a kid forced to go through 12 1/2 NHL draft rounds before finding his home.

It’s also no doubt a lesson for some of the players on their way to Montreal.

« It doesn’t matter what round you get drafted, » Mangiapane said. « I just wanted to go play hockey and do my best – work hard, train and give it my all. »

So, is he joking with his dad about the now infamous prediction of impersonating himself a second time?

« No, no, I buried that moment, » Mangiapane said with a small smile. “I don’t even want to think about it.

« He probably buried it too. »

© 2022 The Canadian Press


Back to top button