The smile was ear to ear on Victoriaville Tigres forward Phillip Danault.
It just happened to show up a little earlier than expected.
Danault was all smiles after being drafted 26th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota.
It’s that same passion and joy for the game that got him onto the Minnesota stage.
“It’s amazing for me to be drafted,” the Victoriaville, PQ. native said. “I don’t have any words to describe this moment. Today I came here with my family just to maybe be drafted in the second round, but first round for me is unbelievable and by the Blackhawks is amazing.”
As the son of the local Victoriaville Tigers QMJHL team’s play-by-play announcer, Danault was a fan long before he was given the opportunity to play for his childhood team. It’s become a feel good story along the junior hockey circuit, but it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving kid.
On the ice, Danault is the hardest worker of them all, every shift laying it all on the line. It was then fitting that long time fan would don the captaincy this past season, a year that saw him score 23 goals and 67 points in 64 games.
“I’ve got leadership and character, and I will try to do the same if I play some day with the Blackhawks,” the five-foot-eleven winger continued. “I will never stop working. I just want to play in the NHL one day.”
Danault is one step closer to that dream, and he knows what will get him there.
“My character, my leadership and speed,” Danault said. “I’ve got a lot of speed. I just play hard every game, my consistency, that’s why I’m here now.”
All the while, that smile still etched across his face.
Brian Huddle is a Future Considerations correspondant and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!