‘Mom, I think I got drafted’: Burlington’s Trent Bourque goes 175th in NHL draft, News (Hamilton Jr Bulldogs)

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‘Mom, I think I got drafted’: Burlington’s Trent Bourque goes 175th in NHL draft
Submitted By Dianne Skirving on Thursday, June 29, 2017
SPORTS Jun 29, 2017 05:00 by Scott Radley  Hamilton Spectator

He hung in for three rounds or so before deciding he had to clear his mind. So he and his younger brother pulled on their bathing suits and went out to the backyard to swim.


Watching the NHL draft is a pleasant diversion for hockey fans. But if you're waiting to see if your name is going to pop up on the screen, it's a gruelling, stressful, nerve-wracking stomach churner. "It's on a whole other level from the OHL draft," Trent Bourque says. 

The Burlington native doesn't know exactly how long he was bobbing around in the pool Saturday afternoon. Fifty picks, maybe. Sixty? Possibly 70. All he knows is that nobody had come running outside screaming that he'd been called, so it didn't really matter.

When he got back inside and found his spot on the living room couch again, it felt like he'd never been away. He was trying to stay optimistic but it was wavering a bit. Selection 140 rolled by. Then 150. Then 160.

"I saw a few buddies' (names) … and it kept going and going," he says. "Obviously, you get a little discouraged and a little disappointed."

The 19-year-old hadn't watched the draft last year even though he was eligible because he knew he wouldn't be called. This time around he held out hope, but his advisers had still told him not to go to Chicago. No sense being the guy still waiting to hear your name when the janitors are turning the lights out in the arena.

By the time the second-last round started, four of his Owen Sound Attack teammates had been drafted. He texted each one, legitimately happy for them. But it was getting harder and harder to watch. Still, he hung in. Nine or 10 teams had talked to the 6-foot-1, 200-pound defensive defenceman in the weeks and months leading up to the draft. There had to be some interest.

"I knew I was going to go later if I was going to go," he says.

The picks were coming fast now. Bourque was staring at the set seeing them fly by. Olle Lycksell … Nicklaus Perbix …Jonathan Davidsson … D'Artagnan Joly …

Suddenly, the cellphone that was lying face-down beside him came to life. The buzzing and dinging and chirping suggested something was up but as he reached for it, the names kept rolling on and none were his.

Ryan McGregor … Cedric Pare … Morgan Barron …

Then he looked at the phone.

"Mom," he said, his voice rising. "I think I got drafted."

As he said it, it happened. Right there at the top of all the graphics and talking heads and statistics appeared the words he'd been hoping to see since he was a kid taking his first strides on the ice.

6th Round. 175th Pick. Blues. Trenton Bourque.

He didn't care it was late in the draft. He didn't care he was the last local guy to go. He didn't even care that he was listed as Trenton. He's Trent. Nobody calls by the longer version except his mom when she's mad at him, he laughs. Once upon a time when he was registered as a player in the Ontario Hockey League he'd been listed as Trenton and it had stuck.

Whatever. He'd been picked. The young man who'd started with the Burlington Eagles and gone to the Brantford 99ers, Niagara North Stars and eventually the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs to chase his hockey dream was an NHL draft pick.

"I think you kind of go into shock," he says. "It's quite a weird feeling."

He was still squinting at the TV wanting to be sure this was real as his family started going wild around him. Within minutes, close to 100 messages had landed on his phone from everyone he knew. Before long the folks from the Blues were in touch asking for passport information and other details so he could be flown down for this week's prospects camp.

He's in St. Louis now. Flew out on Tuesday. Practices began Wednesday.

Bourque is now the fourth member of the 1998 Jr. Bulldogs minor midget squad to either get drafted (Nicholas Caamano went in the fifth round to Dallas last year) or to get an invite to an NHL prospect camp (Brandon Saigeon went to the Leafs last year and Matt Timms is heading to Vegas this week).

Of course, he still has to make it. But at least now he has a chance. That's all he wanted.

Best of all, the family had been recording the draft. So they now have that moment forever. Out of curiosity, did he watch it again before he left for camp?

"Oh yeah," he laughs. "Twenty times."

[email protected]

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Spectator columnist Scott Radley hosts The Scott Radley Show weeknights from 7-9 on 900CHML

 

 

 

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