There were plenty of proud hockey coaches yesterday but likely none more so than Boris Rybalka.
The Camrose Kodiaks head coach watched three of his players taken in the second round of yesterday's NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa.
When reached at his home in Camrose, Rybalka said he felt like a proud papa given how high his players, Mason Raymond, Dan Bertram and T.J. Fast, were taken.
"That tells you something about their character when you've got so many players in the world available and two present (Raymond and Fast) and one former Kodiak (Bertram) are taken," said Rybalka, whose club captured last year's AJHL championship.
"So we're proud of them all. It's pretty impressive."
Bertram, a forward, played for the Kodiaks two seasons ago before heading to Boston College, while Raymond, another forward, and Fast, a defenceman, were on last year's team. Raymond, who is from Cochrane, went to Vancouver (51st overall), Bertram, a Calgarian, got picked by Chicago (54th) and Fast, another Calgarian, was selected by the L.A. Kings (60th).
Rybalka thinks the Blackhawks got a steal in Bertram, who was projected to go a little higher in the second round.
"Because he went to college, nobody really knows about those guys and yet the Oilers drafted (Andrew) Cogliano in the first round but I believe Bertram's better than him," he noted.
"I think it was a steal pick and the Blackhawks are going to be surprised with what they got."