Rather than waste time wondering where he might fall in the 2004 NHL entry draft, Ashton Rome spent Saturday afternoon on the lake in Killarney riding a Sea-Doo and lounging in a boat.
Imagine Rome's surprise when his agent, Craig Oster, called his parents yesterday to let them know the Boston Bruins had made him their fourth-round pick, 108th overall.
Rome, a product of Nesbitt who had 15 goals, 37 points and 139 penalty minutes in 72 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors last season, was the first of six Manitobans selected on Day 2 in Raleigh, N.C. as the draft came to a close.
"I knew something was going to happen, I just didn't think it would be that soon," Rome said by cellphone yesterday. "When I got the call I was pretty excited and pretty shocked. I don't think it's really sunk in yet."
Rome, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-winger, says the Bruins suit his style of play.
"They play a gritty style," said Rome whose brother Aaron signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim earlier this month. " I like to stir the pot, get into guys' minds, be the guy that nobody likes to play against. I'm not the biggest guy but I can throw a check. I make sure guys keep their heads up."
All told, nine Manitobans were chosen over the two days, including first-rounders Cam Barker and Travis Zajac of Winnipeg.
Barker, taken third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, will see some familiar faces during a prospects camp at the United Center this week.
Chicago enhanced their WHL flavour by selecting Jared Walker of Winnipeg in the seventh round (223rd overall) and Eric Hunter of Oakbank in the eighth round (229th overall).
Walker, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound winger, had 11 goals and 19 points in 67 games for the Red Deer Rebels, while Hunter, a 5-foot-11, 188-pound centre, had 19 goals and 42 points in 70 games for the Prince George Cougars.
"I thought I'd go higher, but it worked out really good and it's a good organization," said Hunter, who was happy with his decision not to attend the draft. "I know a bunch of guys in Chicago, so that makes it pretty cool. We all grew up playing together and we all ended up in the same spot."
Mitch Carefoot of Dauphin went to the Atlanta Thrashers in the eighth round (237th overall).
The 6-foot-1, 209-pound centre spent last season with Cornell of the ECAC and had six goals and seven points in 31 games as a freshman.
David Schulz of Winkler saw his stock drop dramatically as he was scooped up by the Vancouver Canucks in the eighth round.
Schulz, who is 6-foot-4 and 201 pounds, doesn't play an overly physical game and that scared off some teams.
However, Schulz is known for his passing ability and good shot.
He produced 17 points and had 79 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Swift Current Broncos last season.
Triston Grant of Neepawa went to the Philadelphia Flyers in the ninth round (286th overall).
Grant, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, is a bruising winger who had 10 goals, 18 points and 267 penalty minutes in 69 games for the Vancouver Giants last season.
The Canucks also selected left-winger Andrew Sarauer of the Langley Hornets (BCHL) in the fourth round (125th overall), University of Michigan right-winger Mike Brown in the fifth round (159th overall), goalie Julien Ellis-Plante of the Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) in the sixth round (189th overall) and Danish winger Jannik Hansen in the ninth round (287th overall).