Photo: Terry Wilson / OHL Images
(Windsor, ON) – It’s impossible to miss Curtis Douglas. At 6’8.5″ and better than 240 pounds, he’s a mammoth presence in the Ontario Hockey League.
He’s used to the looks. He gets them everywhere he goes; especially at the NHL Combine earlier this month in Buffalo. What he hopes teams will notice ahead of Saturday’s 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas is his continued efforts to develop his skating, mobility and overall skill set.
Q: What are you plans for the draft weekend?
CD: I’m going to get there Friday, but more to explore the city a little. I don’t think I’ll go in the first round. And that’s fine. I’d like Friday to be more about the experience before going on Saturday (when rounds 2 through 7 take place).
Q: You were the 63rd ranked North American skater when the final numbers came out. Do you read much into that?
CD: I think the ranking is just an ‘on paper’ kind of thing. For the public to see. No one knows other than the people in the rooms and the people that are actually making the decisions where I will end up. I’m more just worried a team that wants to help me continue to develop than when my name is called.
Q: You obviously attract a lot of attention because of your size. No one in their right mind can recall a centre just under 6’9″. How do you handle that type of attention?
CD: I definitely think i’m used to it. At the NHL Combine, it was a bit of a different atmosphere, when there’s 15 to 20 people in a room and all eyes are on you. But I’m hoping scouts and teams are seeing that I can move. That I am continuing to work on that as a big focus of mine this summer.
Q: Have you thought about hearing your name called and how that will feel?
CD: It’s been something I’ve been dreaming about since I was three years old. And I’ve been pretty anxious about it for a couple years now. Every day leading up to it is getting more exciting. I’m excited to experience it but also to get it over with, find a team that likes me and begin my journey with them.