Tomasino a happy Predator
Niagara IceDogs winger Philip Tomasino tried to live in the moment as much as possible after being selected by the Nashville Predators in the first round (24th overall) of the National Hockey League draft.
“It’s awesome. It goes by so fast after that moment but it was fun and I enjoyed every minute of it,” Tomasino said. “Looking back, I really loved it and was glad to be able to have it.”
Tomasino was able to share the experience with friends and family who made the trip to Vancouver to support him.
“It’s been unreal for sure. I had my family down there as well which made it a very memorable days for me, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’ve said it a hundred times, it was the best night of my life — just everything, to be able to spend it with my friends and family and advisor.”
Tomasino admitted it wasn’t easy to sit in the stands and watch team after team pass on him.
“It was nerve wrecking. I had a feel where I may land, sort of a sense of a range. You see the picks go by and waiting for your name to be called. Once you do have your name called, I can’t really describe what it feels like.”
Tomasino, who collected 34 goals and 38 assists for 72 points this past season, was thrilled to be selected in the first round.
“I think it’s always been a goal of mine. I did everything I could to achieve that goal. I didn’t really start the way I wanted to and then I started to pick it up in the second half of the year.
“When I started playing well, I thought it was a possibility for sure but I couldn’t have done it without everyone involved with Niagara. I couldn’t have done it without them. It was an amazing year for sure.”
Once he did hear his name, the speedy winger made his way to the stage where he was presented with a Nashville jersey and cap. He then went to the Predators table to meet others in the organization before media obligations with both television and print media.
“It was awesome to meet everyone and thank them for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “After that I had more media stuff in terms of pictures and signing stuff. I was a long process but a memory that will last my whole life.”
IceDogs general manager Joey Burke was in attendance at the draft.
“There is no one more deserving than Phil,” Burke said. “I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.
“Since his minor midget days with the Rebels, I knew that he was a special talent, but the maturity he shows off the ice, and the way he carries himself like a pro impresses me every day. There is no doubt in my mind he is going to be a great pro. Nashville is a great fit for Phil, and we will work together on his development every step of the way.”
Tomasino will attend development camp in Nashville this week before heading to Michigan with IceDogs teammate Akil Thomas for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp at the end of July.
Predators chief amateur scout Tom Nolan commented on Tomasino on the team’s website.
“He’s a really dynamic player. He attacks, plays with high-end speed and has real good instincts with and without the puck. He’s a top-six forward, we feel. He has a great personality and will fit in well as time goes on.”
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