Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/6/2019 (211 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
VANCOUVER — Normally, Trent Miner is a big fan of shutouts. But the Brandon-born goaltender wasn’t nearly as enamoured with the goose egg he was staring at Saturday afternoon.
It was getting late in the seventh and final round of the NHL draft and Miner had yet to hear his name called. Same goes for every other draft-eligible prospect from Manitoba, a rarity indeed given the hockey hotbed typically found in our backyard.
But then everything changed in a flash as the Colorado Avalanche used the 202nd pick to welcome the 18-year-old into the fold.
"It was just a surreal thing to hear it all happen. To go down to the floor and meet everyone, it was just something you dream about happening. To live it was pretty awesome," said Miner, who was in attendance at Rogers Arena along with his family.
"Sitting there, the guys ahead of you they all deserve it, they’ve all worked hard. When I got my chance, I was pretty excited for it."
Miner is coming off a terrific first full season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, with a 24-5-1 record and a sparkling 1.98 goals-against average and .924 save-percentage. That clearly put him on the radar for NHL scouts, although Miner said he wasn’t too worried about how the draft played out.
"Everyone goes through the draft hoping to hear their name called. I wasn’t too nervous if I didn’t get called or whatever the outcome was. Because at the end of the day, I know that if I’m good enough, I can play at that level," he said.
Miner may not have always had that mindset, but said the past year has helped his mental approach.
"Just my maturity and being able to handle situations and not getting caught up in stress situations where some people might crack and just be able to push through it and keep playing," he said of his biggest area of personal growth.
"I think preparing for it was just understanding that you have no control and the things you think might happen might not happen. Just be prepared for anything. This season was great for me. I took big steps for not only myself but also our team. We’re creating a culture now where we’re expected to win and I think, moving forward, everyone’s excited for it."
Miner will now fly to Denver and participate in the organization’s rookie development camp next week. Colorado is one of the NHL teams that appears to be on the rise, a fact not lost on their newest prospect.
"Looking at their roster, it’s looking like they’re going to be expected to win a Cup here shortly so it’s going to be a great opportunity," he said.
Miner ended up being the lone Manitoban in his draft class to be selected.
"I know there’s lots of good guys from Manitoba that deserve to be at the next level. I think they’ll get their chance at camps moving forward."
Kelly McCrimmon, the general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, said he doesn’t think there’s any reason for concern about Manitobans seemingly missing the mark this season when it comes to getting drafted.
"No, I don’t think so. I mean, last year, there weren’t as many WHL players selected. This year, there were seven in the first round, some real high ones, of course we took one," McCrimmon said, referring to Winnipeg Ice captain Peyton Krebs.
"I think those things go in cycles. Manitoba hockey is strong and will continue to be."
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.
Updated on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 10:58 PM CDT: Edited