Marquardt heading to the NHL Draft
Matt Marquardt looks on during play at the Eurocamp hockey school at Pete Palangio arena as he prepares for this weekend's NHL Draft. Photo by Chris Dawson. It’s been quite the exciting summer for North Bay’s Matt Marquardt.
Matt Marquardt looks on during play at the Eurocamp hockey school at Pete Palangio arena as he prepares for this weekend's NHL Draft. Photo by Chris Dawson.
It’s been quite the exciting summer for North Bay’s Matt Marquardt. The North Bay teen represented Canada at the World In-line Hockey Championships in France earlier this month, but now he’s focused on an even bigger adventure; the NHL draft.
The Marquardt’s headed to Ottawa Thursday morning where Matt will have interviews with the Tampa Bay lightning and possibly another interview with the Montreal Canadiens later in the day.
Earlier this summer Marquardt was invited to the Ottawa Senators NHL combine at the Corel Center where he got to rub elbows with current Ottawa Senator players.
“It was quite an experience, I mean I got to the Corel Center and walked in the back and all these guys come up to you and say, ’hi I’m so and so from the Ottawa Senators,’ and come this way and we ended up going in their dressing room and taking a tour of their rink and it really makes you feel good knowing how close you are but stay grounded and know you still got a lot of work to do and it motivates you to really work hard to get to that next step,” Marquardt said in an interview earlier this summer.
The tall power forward raised a lot of eyebrows last year in the Central Junior Hockey League. Marquardt had 19 goals and 22 assists good for 41 points in 56 games with Brockville last season, and he was named the league’s rookie of the year and MVP of the league’s rookie all-star game.
But because Marquardt didn’t play in a high profile junior league he wasn’t seen first hand by a lot of NHL scouts. Therefore where he goes in the NHL draft on Saturday is a bit of a mystery. The family has been told that he could be drafted as high as the third or fourth round of the nine round event. But as many teenagers have witnessed, nothing is a sure thing on draft day.
If Marquardt doesn’t hear his name called on Saturday that’s not really a bad thing. This fall he’s expected to play major junior hockey, most likely in the QMJHL where a lot more scouts will be able to see him play.
Marquardt would love to follow in the footsteps of another former CJHL player. Benoit Pouliot went undrafted in 2004, and then made a huge impact with the Sudbury Wolves this year and will likely be taken second or third overall on Saturday.
Either way, it’s an exciting time for a guy who at one time couldn’t even make the North Bay Trappers.