Excited, anxious and nervous are among the many feelings that must be going through the minds of Taylor Gauthier, Layton Ahac and Cole Moberg.

Anticipation is at the forefront of these 18-year-olds, all of whom played prominent roles with their Prince George teams in the 2018-19 season.

It is highly doubtful any of the three will hear their name called during the first round tonight.

On Saturday morning, that’s when Gauthier, Ahac and Moberg will have their ears perked up when the league completes the Draft with rounds two-to-seven.

The final Central Scouting rankings have Gauthier of the Prince George Cougars 7th among North American goalies, down from 5th at midterm.

Ahac, a defenceman from Vancouver who helped the P.G. Spruce Kings win a BCHL title, is listed 62nd among North American skaters, up from 114th at midterm.

Moberg, arguably the Cougars best defenceman last season, is ranked 136th among North American skaters, up from 175th at midterm.

Gauthier, who is from Calgary, is almost certainly going to be picked, but he remains in the dark about what round and what team that might be.

“I have been talking to quite a few teams over the season and into the off-season, said Gauthier in an interview with mypgnow.com.

“I haven’t really had too many odd questions, just the ones where they are trying to get to know you. It’s been really cool to talk to NHL teams and realize that potentially my dream is coming true in the next couple of days, so it’s kind of surreal.”

The 6′ 1” Gauthier, who has plenty of international experience, joined the Cougars as regular when he was just 16 with the goal of becoming part of an NHL team.

This past season he posted a 3.25 goals-against-average with a .899 save percentage and three shutouts in 55 games.

He was recently among 103 prospects (eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft) in Buffalo for the annual NHL Scouting Combine.

“Watching the Draft and kind of thinking I still have a couple of years, and then last year seeing guys that I played against in the league, or have been on the ice with ,was kind of a reality check and you think to yourself that it is coming soon.”

The 6′ 2″ Ahac (32 points in 53 regular season games) has committed to Ohio State University for the 2019-20 season.

His stock rose as his team climbed the ladder.

In other words, as the Spruce Kings got better and peaked at the end of the season, so did Ahac’s performance at both ends of the ice.

It is hard to predict if playing Jr. A instead of Major Junior will hinder his status.

The best-case scenario is he gets taken in round two or three and worst case is not drafted at all.

Moberg has been a bit of a late bloomer, particularly offensively.

The 6′ 2″ North Vancouver native went from 11 points in 64 games in 2017-18 to 40 points in 61 games in 2018-19, increasing his goal production from two to 13.

Moberg understands he may get selected in the middle to late rounds or perhaps not at all.

Putting on an NHL jersey is an honour, a privilege and a special moment never to be forgotten.

As much as these three players want to have their name called on Saturday, the journey is far from over if they are overlooked.

Players such as Dino Ciccarelli (608 goals) , Joe Mullen (502 goals), Adam Oates (1,408 points), Peter Stastny (1,239 points), Martin St. Louis (1,033 points), 12-time All-Star goalie Ed Belfour, and 6-time All-Star goalie Curtis Joseph are among many that made a huge impact in the NHL
despite not getting drafted.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

In the wake of the devastating injury toll, the Golden State Warriors have gone from the ‘Splash
Brothers’ to the ‘M*A*S*H Brothers.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger suffered a ruptured testicle on a freak play. You could say he ended up with the very definition of a foul ball.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

The New York Mets have named 82-year-old Phil Regan as their new pitching coach. Makes a certain amount of sense, to be Mets pitching coach this year you need a short memory.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The playing surface at the Los Angeles Coliseum will be renamed United Airlines Field. Now for the hard part: getting lap belts installed on 78,467 seats and finding beverage carts that can go up and down stadium steps.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

A spark from a golfer’s club in Irvine, Calif., reportedly started a 12-acre wildfire. If the guy can do that with a golf club, I wouldn’t want to take him on in match play.”

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hartley_Miller
Listen to him on his podcast: Hartley’s Cat Scan.