Grimsby’s Day second goalie picked in OHL draft
Nate Day was sitting on the couch in his Grimsby home with his parents and sisters Friday night when he was chosen in the third round, 57th overall of the Ontario Hockey League draft by the Flint Firebirds.
“I was super excited to hear my name get called,” the Niagara North Stars goalie said. “Words can’t really describe how I was feeling at the time. As soon as they called my name I was just in complete shock. My parents were pretty happy and they were hugging me and I didn’t even know what to feel at the moment.”
Flint called the 16-year-old that night after making the selection.
“They congratulated me and told me how excited they were and that was basically it.”
He was delighted to be picked by the Firebirds.
“I was very excited. That was one of the teams I was hoping would pick me. They have a great organization and I think it would be pretty cool to play out there for their team.”
Flint told him they would call again in about a week to let him know what the next steps would be.
The Grade 10 student at Grimsby and District Secondary School said there were no wild celebrations Friday night in the Day household.
“We kind of sat around, talked a bit and didn’t really do much. We were all pretty excited and trying to soak up the moment.”
The 6-foot-1, 178-pounder was the second goalie and the first Niagara-born player selected in the draft but he wasn’t putting much stock in the latter distinction.
“It doesn’t really mean too much to me. I wasn’t really paying attention to that and I was just hoping to hear my name get called and hoping to see some of my buddies from my team get called too.”
Day was back on-line Saturday morning, following the draft and hoping to see more Niagara North Stars being selected.
He is hoping to make his mark in Flint sooner rather than later.
“Hopefully I can make the team and get in some games with the team. I just have to keep trying to get better, off the ice and on the ice. Off the ice, I have to get stronger and on the ice I have to keep developing my game and get used to the faster-paced game and all the shots.”
He can’t wait to get started.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone on the team and the coaching staff, and just getting used to the environment.”
Niagara North Stars head coach Matt Miller is a big fan of Day.
“Dayzy (Day) is, by far, the best goaltender I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Miller said, in an earlier story on BPSN. “Nate’s compete level, willingness to improve, and all-around determination and work ethic are simply outstanding. As focused and alert of a goaltender as he is, his humble, positive attitude and easy-going nature certainly allow those playing in front of him to play with confidence. As special of a player as Nate is, he is an even better person.”
Day has been moving quickly up the hockey ranks after he started playing house league hockey in his hometown against older kids. The next season he was playing single A hockey for the Grimsby Peach Kings and halfway through the year the Niagara North Stars AAA goalie was injured.
“I ended up getting mentioned to their coach and I went out and skated with their team. The practices went well and I thought I looked really good out there. I ended up trying out the next year and I have been playing for the Niagara North Stars ever since.”
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