Three drafted in 2nd round

Nate Hagemo and two incoming freshmen were drafted Saturday.

Matt Perkins

The NHL finally came to terms with the Players’ Association last week, putting an end to the lockout that forced the cancellation of the 2005 season.

But the 2006 campaign kicked off Saturday with the 2005 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa and three Gophers were selected in the second round by three teams who have had plenty of success in recent years.

Incoming freshman forward Ryan Stoa was drafted in the second round with the 34th overall pick by the Colorado Avalanche, incoming freshman goaltender Jeff Frazee was taken by the New Jersey Devils with the 38th pick and Nate Hagemo was selected with the 58th pick by the Carolina Hurricanes.

And they couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s really something to see the other guys get drafted too,” said Frazee, who played with Stoa last year on the U.S. Under-18 team. “We all called and talked to each other and congratulated each other for being drafted.”

Frazee said it’s extra special to be drafted by the Devils because of their consistent success. New Jersey has only missed one playoff appearance (1996) since 1992, and has won three Stanley Cup Championships in that period.

Watching the draft online was good enough for Frazee, but Hagemo couldn’t handle the suspense.

“I was getting too nervous, so I went to play golf,” Hagemo said. “I was on the chipping green when I saw that I had like 10 missed calls, so that’s when I figured I had gone.”

As much as his nerves were bothering him, Hagemo said he was settled once he heard the details.

“When I heard it was Carolina, I just can’t tell you how excited I was,” he said. “They truly are one of my favorite teams, and to be drafted by them is really special.”

Stoa was just as excited to be drafted by the Avalanche, which has made the playoffs in each of their last nine seasons.

He also mentioned the possibility of one day playing video games – as himself.

“It’s awesome because you grow up playing video games, and you’re always either the Colorado Avalanche or the Detroit Red Wings,” Stoa said. “To be drafted by a team like that is really cool.”