Seventh round draft picks usually carry a chip on their shoulder after being passed over dozens of times in the previous rounds. They have much more to prove if they want to establish themselves as players capable of reaching the next level. Most work extremely hard, and yet few ever reach their goals of making an NHL roster.
Nic Dowd’s senior season at St. Cloud State forced people in the hockey world to take notice of the 198th pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Increasing his point totals in every one of his four years in college, Dowd’s final year saw him post career highs in goals and points, all while being a scholar athlete and sharing the captaincy with fellow Kings prospect Kevin Gravel. The cherries on top for Dowd were being named a member of the Hobey Hat Trick – the three finalists for the award given to the NCAA’s best player, and then signing an entry level contract with the Kings. Fresh off his professional debut in Manchester last weekend, Dowd is now in Philadelphia for the Frozen Four and the 2014 Hobey Baker Award presentation.
Prior to leaving New Hampshire though, he spent some time with MayorsManor correspondent Andy Tonge , where they spoke about a myriad of topics…
Dowd on balancing class and being a professional hockey player:
“It’s going to have its challenges. But, [my] professors were really good, and allowed me to finish up my courses while I’m here, and just [allowed me to] work towards being a pro and contributing to the team, any way possible.”
On heading to the Frozen Four as a part of the three Hobey Baker finalists and not playing in the tournament:
“That will be really difficult. I don’t plan on watching the games – nothing against the teams [there], but obviously our team’s not there. [I] would love to have all the boys there with me for good reason, but it didn’t work out that way. Hats off to the teams that made it.”
On if he takes pride his role in the emergence of St. Cloud as a powerhouse hockey team:
“Definitely. I think it started back when I was a sophomore. We kind of changed [the] culture there a little bit. I was just fortunate enough to end up being a senior there when it really turned over. Hopefully we pass that down to the guys that are still in the program. Obviously, I have a lot of pride for St. Cloud. I’ll carry it with me wherever I go.”
On having Kevin Gravel in Manchester to help ease the transition:
“Gravs is obviously one of my best friends, roommate. [We] came in together as freshmen. It’s great to have him there. Same with Merschy (Michael Mersch). I’ve known him for a couple of years when we were in the same boat in college, so it’s nice to have those guys. But the team welcomed all of us pretty well.”
On if he ever gets sick of having Gravel around after four years of college and now turning pro together:
“We might be in each other’s hair a little bit, but other than that, we formed a good relationship. I look forward to [more of] that in the future.”
If you missed it, here’s our interview with Gravel, talking his contract status and much more.
3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:
Dowd Now Knocking On The Door As A Rising NHL Prospect – John Hoven’s feature on LAKings .com
Gravel Has More Than A Puncher’s Chance At The NHL – John Hoven’s feature on LAKings .com
LA Kings 2014 mid-season prospect rankings – top defensemen
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