Pageau reflects on being drafted by Ottawa
He’s had several iconic playoff performances for the Senators but it’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since Ottawa selected a local centre in the 4th round of the NHL Draft. Here’s a look back at Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s experience being picked by his hometown team in 2011.
On his decision to travel to Minnesota and attend the Draft in person:
My agent at the time only had two players going into the Draft and neither of us was sure if we’d get drafted but he wanted us to go for the experience. Obviously I knew I wasn’t being picked on the first day but after the first round I didn’t have any expectations. I was hoping to get picked by any team in the NHL and today I’m glad that Ottawa picked me. It’s the city I’m from and the city that I take pride to represent.
On who came to the Draft with him:
My mom and dad were there along with my sister and my uncle. They all made the trip just to support me and it turned out great for all of us. I got drafted on the second day in the 4th round by the Sens and after that there was a little reception where you got to meet some of the members of the organization. At the time, I didn’t remember anyone’s name 20 minutes after meeting them because it was such a blur.
On if he knew that Ottawa was interested in him:
I found out when my name was called. My agent had told me that there were a couple of teams that were interested but he wouldn’t tell me who. I had interviewed with a couple of different teams before the draft so I was thinking that they were maybe going to pick me but we didn’t know that Ottawa wanted me. It was a great surprise.
On waiting to hear his name called:
The second day felt like it was taking forever but once it happened you kind of blank out for a bit. Did they really just call my name? You sit there waiting to hear every pick before that so it makes it really long with it being 30 picks in each round. I was the 96th player taken so for the 95 picks before me I was still listening to every name and clapping for some of my friends that had been taken. I was happy for them but you always start comparing yourself to them if you know the player and after 95 picks it gets pretty long. I went there with no expectations but everyone wants to get drafted when you go there. Even if I wasn’t picked I was still planning on working hard to try and earn my spot one day with an NHL team. I was pretty surprised when it happened, I was just sitting there and it caught me off guard.
What he remembers right after being picked by Ottawa in the 4th round:
Everything happens so fast once you’re drafted. It’s a bit like when you score your first goal, it’s a rush of emotions and something that you’ve worked towards all your life and it’s finally happening. It’s hard to really take everything in because of everything that’s going on.
On what happens once you’ve been picked:
They take you down to the draft floor and you get to meet all the people right away around the table. I got to see my family too but that was after some interviews and photos. Back then, I could barely speak English so I can’t even remember what I said in my interview.
On what it meant for him to be drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2011:
Ottawa gave me a chance to learn so much, not only in hockey but in life too. Being drafted was a rush of emotions. It happens so fast that the next day I don’t think could tell you what happened. It’s hard to realize but then you get to talk with your friends and family and everyone is congratulating you. It doesn’t really hit you until your first training camp. Once you start playing with pros and other players who were drafted that’s when you really see the level of competition is so much higher.