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06-28-2009, 12:15 PM
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Steven Anthony almost gave up hope that he would be drafted on Saturday but then everything changed at the last minute.

The Vancouver Canucks made a late trade to acquire a seventh-round pick (187th overall) at the NHL draft in Montreal, which they used to select the Halifax native.

"As it’s winding down, you’re just thinking ‘Oh man, there’s only so many picks left’ and it keeps getting less and less," he said. "I was just really fortunate and lucky.

"It was the longest three hours of my life. I was sitting there just hitting refresh, refresh, refresh on the computer. I was eventually refreshing slower as it was winding down but then I got a call from Vancouver telling me they selected me. I didn’t believe it at first but then I refreshed and there it was."

Anthony spent the last two seasons with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, accumulating 62 points in 122 games, including 48 points in 67 games last season. His strongest stretch was in the second half last year when he posted 29 points in 30 games.

The six-foot-two, 195-pound forward was a huge scorer in bantam and midget but is the first to admit he has struggled with consistency in major junior. He feels like that will change now that he’s been picked by an NHL team.

"It definitely gives you a boost of confidence," Anthony said. "I lose confidence here and there sometimes but with this, it’s boosted me back up and it’s making me believe I can be the player I think I can be. It’s just a good feeling. I know it’s going to pass over to my game and to my confidence. I feel like I’ll be playing with the fun I used to play with again."

Anthony is also encouraged the Canucks engineered a trade on the draft floor just so they could get him. They dealt Shaun Heska to the Phoenix Coyotes to get the pick they used on Anthony, who feels like getting his foot in the door with an NHL team will help him get a fresh start.

"I’m looking at it like that, especially (since) Vancouver didn’t have a pick in the last round," Anthony said. "They traded for a seventh-round pick and ended up using it on me. That shows that they do want me. If they pick you, that means that they have interest in you and that’s what matters. This is just so exciting."

Anthony said he had no idea who would pick him but talked about a meeting he had two weeks ago with a Halifax native who scouts for the Canucks.

"I had an interview with Darrell Young two Fridays ago and I guess it went well," Anthony said. "I don’t know if he had anything to do with me being picked but I appreciate whoever it was that (recommended) me.

"Being out in Halifax, you watch a game in Vancouver and it starts at around 12 o’clock at night so you don’t catch many of them. But I know Yann Sauve well because we’re on the same team and he’s a big fan of the team, obviously being drafted by them last year. He has a lot of good things to say about the organization. This just feels so good. I’m speechless."

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