Blue Jackets Draft Pick Sonny Milano Excited for Future in Columbus
During the summer after high school graduation, most 18-year olds face the pressure of finding a part-time job and wandering the aisles of Bed Bath and Beyond to gather supplies for their freshman year of college. Let’s just say the life of a hockey prospect is a tad bit different. Rather, Sonny Milano spent the summer improving his stock leading up to the NHL draft in order to secure eventual full-time employment. The question though lingered: who would draft Milano and become his future employer?
“It is a pretty scary feeling; you don’t know when you’re going to get picked, where you’re going to go and your future is kind of just up in the air,” said Milano. “You try and enjoy the moment since it only happens once.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets is the franchise that drafted the American-born forward with the 16th pick in the NHL draft. “It’s extremely exciting getting drafted [by] an organization like this,” stated Milano. “I watched a lot of their games last year.”
Coincidentally, Milano became familiar with the Jackets when he resided in the Buckeye state for one year, while he played with the Cleveland Barons Under-16 team. “My coach Brett Harkins was actually a former player for the Blue Jackets and my host family were Blue Jackets fans so I got to know the team pretty well.”
While Milano is familiar with the Blue Jackets, he has never made the trek to Columbus. “I haven’t been there yet. I’m looking forward to getting to camp to explore the city for the first time and I’m pretty excited for that . . . I’m not a huge football fan but I hear the Ohio State games are pretty crazy. I’m sure I’ll be at a couple of those.”
Milano was well-known heading into the draft. In addition to his 29 goals and 86 points this past season for the U.S. National Under-18 team, he also is a YouTube sensation. Milano was just in eighth grade when he entered a contest run by Bauer dressed in pajamas in his basement. In order to win a free pair of skates, he had to explain how he would change the game of hockey. His stick handling in the video (which now has 47,000 views) ended up securing the grand prize. Before the NHL combine, he was asked to do another stick trick video.
“It was pretty spontaneous. The night before one of the guys from NHL.com emailed me and asked me to bring my stick down to the lobby in the morning and I just ran along with it.” The video “Stick Tricks with Sonny Milano” now has 180,000+ views on YouTube.
“I’m done with the whole stick trick thing. It was fun [while] it lasted but hopefully my next video will be a goal with Boston College or the Jackets.”
Milano will play hockey this upcoming year at Boston College. He claims he needs to develop his game and become more of a complete player, not just an offensive player, which will prepare him for the NHL. There will be one noticeable difference when Milano hits the ice for the Boston College Eagles.
“Boston College actually makes you cut your hair; they like the short hair there.” After getting pegged by commentators on national television during the draft as having the “best hair in the draft,” Milano warned not to expect much flow out of his helmet in the near future.
After cutting off his signature locks, Milano will begin taking classes this fall, just like many of his peers. If he develops as a hockey player quickly, he may not be an Eagle for very long. There is a job waiting for him here in Columbus.
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