Patience a virtue for Manitoba players

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- The waiting was the hardest part, but an abundant supply of patience proved to be a virtue for Codey Burki and Ryan White.

That wait was a little longer than anticipated, but not bad in the big picture, as the Manitobans ended up going in the second and third rounds respectively.

Burki, a Winnipegger, was the 59th overall selection to the Colorado Avalanche and White, a Brandon product, was the 66th pick of the Montreal Canadiens.

"I got picked later than I thought I'd be, but that's OK," said Burki, who had 27 goals and 61 points in 70 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings last season. "I had a good feeling I'd be going in the second round. I'm a pretty patient guy anyway. This is certainly a dream and it's beginning to come true. That's what happens sometimes. Colorado is a wonderful organization and I feel blessed to be drafted by them."

White, who had 20 goals and 53 points for the Calgary Hitmen last season, was working on little rest since he spent Friday night at home for his high school graduation from Vincent Massey.

"I had a lot of fun," said White, who left Brandon yesterday at 6 a.m. "I had a good cap off to my high school career. I have a lot of buddies back home and it was one last kick at the can, I guess."

Some publications had White going in the first round, so managing to stay relaxed was a bit of a challenge.

"I had a lot of mixed emotions," said White, who previously rooted for the Detroit Red Wings. "You're sitting there and waiting a lot, not knowing what's going to happen. You see guys going and going, but once I got my name called I was just thrilled. I couldn't be happier that I'm a Montreal Canadien. I kind of expected to go a little higher but it looks like a good opportunity. It's a great organization with a lot of history. I've got a new favourite team now."

With the 99th pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Arborg product James Reimer, a goalie who spent last season with the Red Deer Rebels.

CANUCKS GO AUSTRIAN: Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis went off the board a bit when making Austrian sniper Michael Grabner his first round pick (14th overall).

Grabner spent the past two seasons in the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs and had 36 goals and 50 points in 67 games last season.

"He has that offensive flair that is going to be very important in our game," said Nonis. "Foot speed is as important as it's ever been. Michael is the type of player that when he sees an opening, he can easily get through it. He has great speed and he's a great finisher. He's got a long way to go in other areas, he understands that."


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