Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-

Getting closer to the goal

Adam Musil has watched the draft process before. Four years ago he was on hand as he nervously watched his brother, defenceman David Musil, get selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the first pick in the second round in Minnesota. This time, however, it’s Adam’s turn.

Adam Musil has watched the draft process before.

Four years ago he was on hand as he nervously watched his brother, defenceman David Musil, get selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the first pick in the second round in Minnesota. This time, however, it’s Adam’s turn.

The Red Deer Rebels forward made the trip to Miami for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, as he attempts to become the latest member of his family to play in the sport’s top league.

“My goal is obviously to make it to the NHL just like my dad and my brother and my uncle, I want to follow those footsteps and this is one step closer to my goal,” said the Musil, 18.

Just where Musil is selected is anybody’s guess. Depending on the scouting service being referenced he is ranked as high as the 61st prospect (NHL Scouting, North American skaters) to as low as 104th (International Scouting Services Hockey). But he lands everywhere in between, TSN’s hockey insider Bob McKenzie has him as the 65th overall prospect as does Future Considerations, while Hockeyprospect.com pencils him in at 82. What this means is he’ll likely be taken anywhere from late second round to the fourth round. His brother was a perfect example of this with a similar ranking before the Oilers jumped up and took him 31st overall.

Musil is coming off his second full season with the Rebels after being selected sixth overall by the club in the 2012 Western Hockey League bantam draft, and this year scored 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 66 games. He also picked up 71 penalty minutes and a minus-7 rating. In 129 WHL games, the six-foot-three, 195-pound forward has 68 points (26-42-68).

What may standout the most is his bloodlines. In addition to his brother making his NHL debut on the Oilers’ blue line this season, his dad Frantisek Musil had a 14-year NHL career with the Minnesota North Stars, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers, and his uncle is Bobby Holik who played 18 years in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers and was considered one of the league’s top two-way forwards.

It is Holik that Musil models his game after.

“He’s my uncle and he was an awesome player in the NHL … he was a leader on each team he was on,” said Musil. “He was a winner and that’s what I want to be, too. I look up to him as much as I can and try to talk to him as much as I can because he has real good things to tell me.”

With deep NHL roots, he has had no shortage of advice as to how to handle this weekend, he’s just going in with an open mind after being interviewed by 24 teams as of Thursday morning.

“You can’t really control the outcome, you’ve just got to enjoy yourself now and wait for whatever team picks you,” he said. “I’m excited, but I’m also a little nervous. It’s going to be a good time.”

Musil is not the only Rebel with the chance to be drafted this weekend. Though ranked further down the list, Red Deer teammates Austin Strand, Grayson Pawlenchuk and Evan Polei could all hear their names called, though Musil is the only one in Miami.

Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman and Red Deer native Andrew Nielsen will almost assuredly be drafted, the six-foot-three, 207-pounder is ranked 52nd among North American skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting.

Musil has worked hard since the end of the season in preparation for the draft, to put himself in as good a position as possible. But he also has his eyes down the road at the end of next season with the Rebels hosting the Mastercard Memorial Cup in May.

“Obviously our team and I have big expectations for ourselves, we’re going to work hard to meet those expectations,” said Musil.

• The Rebels had two players selected in the first round of the draft last year, defenceman Hayden Fleury (7th overall, Carolina) and Conner Bleackley (23rd overall, Colorado). Both of them have been invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase, a training camp for the national junior teams, July 29 to Aug. 6. Fleury and Bleackley will be trying to make the U20 team. Rebels defenceman Josh Mahura will be at the U18 camp and Rebels goaltending prospect and Red Deer native Dawson Weatherill will be at the U17 camp. The Showcase will be at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

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