Previous team: Lewiston MAINEiacs (QMJHL)
Age: 04-09-1992 (18)
Weight: 180 lbs.
Notable stats / accolades: 65 points in 94 career games in the QMJHL, 28 goals and 27 assists this season.
Michael Chaput knows better than to set his expectations too high.
"The team's, they can talk to you all they want, but they can't really promise you anything right now," Chaput said. "Anything can happen at the draft. You can't go in there with any expectations, because if something bad happens, or for some reason teams don't pick you, you can't really set too many goals or expectations."
The fact that he's flying out to California on Friday morning, however, says enough.
Chaput is one of five Lewiston Maineiacs hoping to hear their names called this weekend as the National Hockey League conducts its annual entry draft in Los Angeles.
"It's much different than the junior draft, much bigger, obviously," Chaput said.
Chaput is rated No. 78 by Central Scouting among North American skaters, which would land him squarely in the third round. The Carolina Hurricanes selected his brother, Stefan, in the fifth round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. This time, Michael said, is a bit different.
"My brother was at home when he found out he'd been drafted," Michael Chaput said. "This is different; I will be there if they call me."
Chaput's teammates will be waiting in anticipation, as well. Matthew Bissonette, Stefan Fournier, Sam Carrier and Jess Tanguy are all draft-eligible for the first time.
"We could have five guys drafted; we could have just one," Lewiston GM Roger Shannon said. "If I were a betting man, I would say that Michael Chaput will be drafted, just knowing the level of interest there has been in him. There has been interest in the four other guys, as well, but there's no guarantee. If there were nine or 10 rounds, I would say no question all five would go."
Shannon wasn't shy about offering his opinion on whether they all should be drafted, though.
I wouldve rather take a winger since we are already stacked at center. Cunningham just got picked and I had him way higher than Chaput. I dont even have Chaput on my list, to be honest. Donskoi was another who just got picked.
What a terrible pick with Teemu Pulkkinen still on the board?
I can't say if it's a terrible pick or not, I know nothing about this kid yet. I wouldn't have minded Pulkkinen though. He seems like a real hit or miss kind of guy. He'll either be a complete bust, barely holding down a place in the Finnish league or he'll be a solid NHL'er.
I actually kind of hoped for the guy picked behind ours though. But that's mostly because he plays for my favourite team here in Sweden. If he bulks up and accepts a more defensive role he could turn into a really good checker.