DU Recruit Awaits The NHL Draft On Friday

(above) Incoming DU Freshman Sam Brittain awaits the NHL Draft on Friday

From: Calgary Herald

by Scott Cruickshank

For you and me, the 2000 National Hockey League entry draft was a riveting affair.

After all, it's not often you see the local pro outfit select a star from the local junior squad in the first round.

But that's what happened -- the Calgary Flames snapped up Calgary Hitmen goalie Brent Krahn with the No. 9 pick.

Memorable stuff.

Sam Brittain will have to take our word for it.

The goalkeeper provided perspective -- yes, time does fly -- when asked about that marquee event in Calgary.

Brittain had tickets to the hot event, but opted to go to a chum's birthday party instead.

"So I never saw anything of it," says Brittain. "But one of my friends went and he brought me back a banner. At that time I never knew what the draft was -- no clue."

Cut him some slack. He was eight years old. But the upcoming NHL showcase -- Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles -- belongs to him and his peers.

Brittain: "For the majority of the winter, you have to think about the game at hand. You can't be thinking, be dreaming, about getting drafted, because you're not going to be successful if your mind's not right at the rink. Now that the season's over? Just the excitement of it all -- a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Brittain, after his time with the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, heads south for his freshman campaign at the University of Denver.

Brittain was rated the No. 8 North American goaltender by season's end. Then, at the last minute, he got invited to Hockey Canada's annual elite goaltenders' camp in mid-June at Norma Bush Arena.

Brittain is six-foot-three. He's still growing. He posted top marks in one NHL Combine Drill, in the process bettering 100 of his peers at the NHL scouting combine in Toronto. Brittain was the overall top scorer in the hand-eye co-ordination test.

"As soon as you get over the nerves and the fact that there's 300 people watching," says Brittain, "you can settle down."

At the combine, time is set aside for interviews.

Brittain sat down with nine clubs, including the Flames.

"I was able to relax, settle in, be myself," he says. "You just try to make a great impression on everyone you meet and things will hopefully work out."

All that remains is the draft itself.

Brittain can't decide whether to travel to Los Angeles for the NHL Draft on Friday.

"I'd rather be able to relax at home and distract myself," says Brittain, who's been told that he could be picked anywhere from the second round to the fifth. "Early or late, it doesn't matter to me. I just want to be selected by one team on that day."


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm really looking forward to seeing this boy right out of the gate in October. People say DU's goaltending took it in the shorts - I'm not so sure about that. Will be interesting to see he & Adam feed off each other.

Anonymous said...

Feed off the pucks flying by them all season.

Anonymous said...

9:36 -

Epic. Fail.

puck swami said...

Truth of the matter is we have no idea how DU's goaltenders will or won't step up this year. Historically, DU has not had all poor goaltenders in a single season in more than 10 years, so the odds are either one or both of them will be just fine.

Murray has been pretty average in limited duty, and Brittan has never played at the college level. I see the job as wide open, and I expect platooning.

With an experienced d-corps in front of them, one of the two is going to need to be a .900-910 goalie at a minimum for DU to be at all in contention.

Anonymous said...

your hoping for .900 goaltending? just get a fat bith in front of the net instead!!!