Travis Brown was far removed from the media circus at the National Hockey League draft in Pittsburgh, but being drafted felt just as good.
The Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman was selected in the fifth round, 149th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday.
“It feels great,” said Brown from his home in Winnipeg.
“It was a pretty surreal experience.”
Brown spent the morning keeping tabs on the draft online, but found out he had been chosen from Warriors director of hockey operations Alan Millar.
“When I got the call I actually found out first from Mr. Millar,” said Brown. “It was really exciting for me and my family.
“I’ve only heard good things out of the organization and it’s a pretty big honour to go to an Original Six team like the Chicago Blackhawks.”
Brown followed in the footsteps of fellow Warriors defenceman Morgan Rielly who selected fifth overall Friday by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Blackhawks gave Brown a call right after he was selected as well and he will attend their prospects camp in less than two weeks.
The Moose Jaw midget AAA Generals also had two former players drafted when defencemen Ryan Murray and Derrick Pouliot were taken second and eight overall respectively.
For Brown it was the culmination of a great rookie season. The 18-year-old had seven goals and 31 points to lead all Warriors defencemen and was tied for the team lead with a plus-19.
Brown played in 66 games and played in 10 more playoff games and picked up a pair of assists.
The six-foot-two defenceman was ranked 89th amongst North American skaters heading into the draft.
“Going into the draft I tried to not think about it,” said Brown who talked to 11 NHL teams including Chicago. “Just being picked is an honour. It’s just trying to get your foot in the door and once you have that opportunity, now it’s time to make the best of it.”
The WHL had 32 players selected in the NHL draft.