A day after his dream of being drafted in the NHL came true, it may still not have completely sunk in for Matt Ustaski.
The 6’6″ 225 pound centreman was chosen in the seventh round, 192nd overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. A number of teams were keenly interested in Ustaski’s services and the Illinois native even had plans to attend the Washington Capitals’ Prospects Camp next month if he remained un-selected. But clearly General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets’ scouting staff were impressed by Ustaski’s unique combination of size and skill. He established himself this past season as one of, if not the, best on the faceoff in the entire BCHL. He led the Rivermen in goals with 29, finished second in team scoring with 49 points, and perhaps most impressive of all upped his production in the playoffs when it mattered most. Ustaski has seven goals and eight assists in 12 playoff games to lead the team.
Ustaski not only got his name called at the Draft but also had his first taste of NHL media in a hockey crazed market as he met with Winnipeg and international media immediately after being selected.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend for Ustaski, and one he won’t be forgetting any time soon. Congrats Matt, you have earned this!