Cuma: I'll play anywhere

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

As of last night, 28 NHL teams had interviewed 67's defenceman Tyler Cuma.

Four of them -- Boston, Ottawa, Buffalo and Florida -- met with him twice. The Bruins even brought Cuma to Beantown to see them. He had his fitness test at Harvard, went to a Red Sox game and visited TD Banknorth Garden before the Celtics hosted the Lakers in an NBA finals game.

"The city was in a frenzy," Cuma said.

A good skater with a solid skill set, Cuma is ranked 19th among North American skaters by Central Scouting. The Senators like him and could use his kind. If he winds up theirs as the 18th overall pick, Cuma would have the distinction of being only the second 67's player ever drafted by Ottawa's NHL team.

Former 67's captain Will Colbert was a John Muckler selection in the seventh round (228th overall) in 2003.

"That'd be cool, (getting drafted by Ottawa)," said Cuma, who has no strong sense of where he'll be headed. Doesn't care, either.

"The NHL is the NHL, I have no favourites," said Cuma. "Whoever gets me, I'll be happy to go there."

GREAT CHARACTER

That have talked with Cuma -- and/or discussed him with 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea -- have realized that with the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder comes a heapin' helpin' of character.

"I've always treated others the way I want to be treated, I've tried to be a good player on the ice, but an even better person off it," said Cuma

He won't be the only 67's defenceman drafted. Nepean's Julien Demers, a 15th-round selection of Kilrea's in the OHL Priority Selection just a couple of years ago, is ranked 83rd. Kilrea believes the strong, 6-foot-2, 215-pounder will go in the third round.

Cuma, meanwhile, will have the "hometown crowd" on his side. The native of Bowmanville will be surrounded by his dad Derek and mom Sabine, his grandparents and probably another 25-30 friends.

"All the nerves are over with now," he said. "I'm more excited about finally finding out where I'll be going."


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