Sens make Mole's dream reality

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA -- The Senators didn't look far for their pick in the closing episode of CBC's Making the Cut. Senators GM John Muckler, who drew the third selection in the hockey reality show's draft last night, chose goaltender Michael Mole of Orleans.

The 22-year-old was among six recipients of invites to Canadian NHL team training camps next September.

"He was a kid our scouts liked and we thought this would be a good opportunity for Michael," said Muckler last night.

"He was pretty good. He's got good quickness and good skill. He deserves the opportunity. I know in talking to him, that he couldn't have been more thrilled.

"He's got a shot. We'll see what he can do."

Mole, who backstopped St. Francis Xavier to a Canadian university title, looked shocked when Muckler called his name.

"I had a goal to make it to the final six," said Mole. "I'm right here where I wanted to be when I first tried out in Ottawa. To be picked by the Senators is a big thrill."

Jordan Little, James Demone, Matt Hubbauer, Kevin Lavallee and Dominic Noel will also be attending training camps next year should the NHL end its current lockout.

"It's just an awesome feeling," Little said after the Oilers selected him first overall.

"I'm going to work my butt off so that when I go to that camp next year I'll be in top form and ready to make that team."

Players' friends and relatives were among the 4,500 in Hershey Centre applauding and shouting encouragement as 18 finalists took part in skills contests that gave representatives of Canada's six NHL clubs a last look at the available talent.

Little won the hardest shot contest with a 96.8-mph blast.

A lottery weighted on 2003-2004 regular-season points gave Edmonton first pick, and Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto followed in that order when it came time to choose.

There was a surprise announcement after the six winners stepped forward: Each would receive a brand new Mazda RX8.

There were 68 at a camp in Vernon, B.C., last July. The Tuesday night episodes were based on that footage. The 18 finalists were reunited during the weekend for the finale.

After Little was picked, Vancouver executive Steve Tambellini stepped to the microphone and chose Demone.

Flames GM Darryl Sutter then picked Hubbauer, a centre from Winnipeg who plays for the AHL's St. John's Maple Leafs.

Canadiens GM Bob Gainey chose Lavallee, 23, a blueliner from Montreal who plays for Straubing EHC in Germany.

Toronto GM John Ferguson selected Noel, 23, a centre from Lameque, N.B., who plays for Dalhousie University.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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