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Draft Day Memories with Mads Søgaard

June 15, 2023

The National Hockey League Entry Draft represents an introduction to professional hockey for many junior-aged prospects. At the same time, the prestigious event is surrounded with excitement, anticipation and nerves. With only two weeks until the 2023 NHL Entry draft, Belleville Senators’ goaltender Mads Søgaard took some time to reflect on his draft experience and recalled that the days ahead were extremely busy. Even before the selection portion, athletes are tasked with rigorous fitness testing and interviews.

“It is a huge experience. The whole time leading up to the draft, I remember talking to teams after each game and having a new meeting here and there. Even going to the combine in Buffalo was cool. There are just so many things leading up to it that you look back on when you get to that moment and look around. You have your whole support group, everyone that has been there the entire way. It is just a very cool feeling.”

“I remember going into it and not thinking too much about where or when I was going to go, and just looking around, and enjoying that it had brought me to this point. I put myself in a position to get drafted, enjoy the night, and relax with my family. That was a great moment. As I said, this is something that only happens once. So, it is about enjoying it as much as possible. It was great.”

The native of Aalborg, Denmark was even able to prognosticate his selection with the help of his family and close advisors.

“I remember looking and seeing that Carolina had back-to-back picks, and they picked [Pytor Kochetkov]. Just before me and my agent had been talking about how when goalies get picked, other teams start thinking about goalies. When I heard that there was a trade, I had a feeling, and I told my mom I think this might be the pick, and then you heard it is to Ottawa.”

“Funnily enough, my brother has been a longtime fan of the Senators since way before I got drafted here. So, when he sees the trade to Ottawa, he starts giving me the eyes, and it is like, let’s see here. Sure enough, I got picked. For me, I almost blacked out. I did not know what to think. He was probably the most excited one, because now he does not have to get a new team to cheer for.”

Likely still brimming with excitement, Sogaard made his way to the Senators’ table and quickly met another top prospect that the organization had selected at fourth overall the previous year, much to the delight of his brother and family.

“Even when you meet up with your family after doing all the media, Brady Tkachuk was up there, and he is my brother’s favourite player. So, he got to meet him. It was just an all-around great experience. I know for a fact we look back on that as a great weekend for our family and something that we still talk about to this day.”

Since being selected (37th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, Søgaard has already made his mark in the organization, posting a winning record of 32-24-3 with a 3.00 goals-against average and 0.904 save percentage in 64 American Hockey League games. While also having already appeared in 21 contests with Ottawa.

Undoubtedly, fans of the Senators will follow this edition of the annual draft with much anticipation as the next wave of prospects join the franchise.

In total, the Ottawa Senators have five picks throughout the draft, with one pick each in rounds four and five, along with three selections in round seven.