From Calgary to Breclav to Toronto, it’s been a well-traveled start to Matia Marcantuoni’s draft journey.
The Kitchener Rangers forward was successful in his bid to join Hockey Canada’s entry into the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial in the Czech Republic. Days after returning home with a gold medal, the Toronto, ON. native headed to the NHL’s Research and Development Camp as one of 36 draft eligible invitees.
Before that, it was a summer spent preparing for the most important season of his hockey career.
“I’ve been training all summer,” said Marcantuoni, who had 11 goals and 27 points in 42 games last season. “I haven’t done anything else but train 24/7 so hopefully I can achieve my dream next year and I want to hopefully be a first round pick next year in the next NHL draft.”
He’s on pace to do so. Marcantuoni is slotted sixth among forwards and 15th overall in Future Considerations’ preliminary ranking for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Dealing with the pressure of being a highly ranked prospect shouldn’t be a problem for the six-foot, 185-pound forward.
Marcantuoni got a first-hand look at the pressures and attention of being a highly ranked draft eligible prospect from the comfort of his dressing room. Both Gabriel Landeskog, drafted second overall by the Colorado Avalanche, and Ryan Murphy, selected 12th by the Carolina Hurricanes, went through the routine last season.
The way the drafted duo handled themselves throughout last season didn’t go unnoticed by the former Toronto Marlboros standout.
“Landeskog, Murphy, playing with those guys you can see how they’re dedicated and you feed off them in the room and how they prepare and that’s why they’re first round picks in the NHL.”
And while Marcantuoni may have been a bit on the shy side in pestering his teammates during their draft year, that doesn’t mean their actions didn’t go unnoticed.
“I didn’t really bug them about it but I could see, I knew they were going through it so I could see their preparation and what they worry about and why,” he said. “I got to see what I’m going through the next year so it was helping me also.”
And while Landeskog is likely to stick with the Colorado Avalanche for the upcoming season, Marcantuoni stands a chance of having Murphy back in Kitchener and by his side.
“I think Gabes going to stick in the NHL,” Marcantuoni predicted. “Murphy, you never know, he could stick. If we get him back in Kitchener it will be really helpful for me.”
Though if Marcantuoni delivers on the expectations, he’ll be able to continue his hockey journey on his own.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations 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!