Three Wildcats Taken in NHL Draft! - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Three Wildcats Taken in NHL Draft!

Sunday was a historic day for the Wichita Falls Wildcats, as three Wildcat players were taken in the NHL Draft!

That is more than the total number of Wildcat players (2) ever taken in all previous drafts.

The only current player, and the first off the board, was goalie Evan Cowley who was taken with the first pick of the fourth round by the Florida Panthers.

Cowley is the first and only player to be taken immediately after his year as a Wildcat.

Also, a pair of players from the 2011-2012 team were taken soon after Cowley.

Forward Zach Pochiro was taken with the 21st pick of the fourth round by the St. Louis Blues, then defenseman Tucker Poolman went with the sixth pick of the fifth round to the Winnipeg Jets!

Monday, Wildcats coach Paul Baxter said this will help show prospects that with his NHL experience and connections, the Wildcats can help them get to the next level.

"You know, kids have dreams, and they have goals," Baxter said. "And, they want to be in a situation where they go to an organization where they get treated well and going to be developed."

Baxter said it's the players' play on the ice that ultimately makes the difference, but that NHL GMs and scouts trust his analysis of the players.

"I don't think it hurts when NHL teams can call," Baxter said. "They know they are going to get an honest and credible opinion on where their advancement is, and where they're going and where they've been, and where they're at right now."

As for the players, Baxter said while being drafted is obviously a huge step, it's only a beginning, and not the end of the journey.

"They're not there yet, but they're halfway there though," he said. "Being drafted by an NHL team is a tremendous opportunity, and a tremendous chance for these kids to really live out their dream."

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