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Nieto Reflects on Draft Experience

Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 6:42 PM / News
By Nicole Grazioli  - Social Media Coordinator
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Nieto Reflects on Draft Experience
Sharks forward Matt Nieto reflect back on his experience from the 2011 NHL Draft.
San Jose Sharks forward Matt Nieto recently wrapped up his first season in the NHL. The rookie finished the year recording 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 73 games. It was a dream come true for the California native when he was drafted by San Jose in Round 2 (47th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. Nieto reflects back on his draft experience:

Q: Prior to the draft, how were you feeling going into it? Did you have any expectations?

A: Going into the draft, I was hearing from my agent and just seeing things online that I would be around in the first couple of rounds, so I was expecting to go where I did or around there at least. Overall, it was a crazy time of the year, going to the Combine and doing all of the interviews and everything else, but I couldn't be happier with San Jose taking me.

Q: How did it feel when you heard your name called?

A: It was unbelievable. It's hard to really describe it. I'm sitting there waiting and it’s all pretty nerve racking. You really don't know which team is going to pick you. Throughout the process you met with a bunch of teams, so you just don't know. When San Jose traded up and picked me, it was definitely special. It was great getting to meet the entire Sharks staff including the scouts and Doug Wilson. It was all in the moment and I just soaked it all in. Everything was special to me.

Q: What was it like being picked by a California team?

A: It made it that much better. I'd been living away from California since I was 14. So the fact that I was taken by a California team and now I'm playing in California is pretty cool.

Q: What was your interaction with your family when you got picked?

A: At the draft I had my mom, dad and a couple of friends with me. They were all really happy for me. It was one of those times where all their sacrifices and all my hard work finally paid off. I gave them a hug and we celebrated the rest of the night.

Q: What was the rest of your day and weekend like?

A: The rest of the day I spent with my parents and agent. That night we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate. Once I got back home, I enjoyed the week hanging out a lot with family and friends. I ended up having a draft party, which was really cool.

Q: Looking back at it all and now that you've played a season with the Sharks, how would you describe your whole experience leading up to it?

A: I think the timing was perfect. Everything sort of worked out in my favor. I wasn't really expecting to be on the team this past year, but I had a good training camp and I was able to make the team. I can't say that if another team had drafted me that I would have played a season in the NHL yet, so like I said, everything just worked out really well.

Q: What advice would you give the current draft class?

A: Just remember the draft is just one day. Just because you are drafted, doesn't guarantee that you are going to play in the NHL. You just have to work that much harder once you are drafted to reach that main goal, to play in the NHL.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 62 31 25 12 56
L. Couture 62 21 32 2 53
J. Thornton 58 12 40 -2 52
B. Burns 62 16 29 -3 45
P. Marleau 62 13 31 -14 44
T. Wingels 55 12 15 -5 27
T. Hertl 62 10 14 -3 24
J. Braun 51 1 19 3 20
M. Vlasic 57 7 11 10 18
M. Karlsson 33 9 7 4 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 24 16 7 .913 2.62
A. Stalock 5 7 1 .899 2.85
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