Leafs prospect always ready to Broll

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 AM ET

ST. PAUL, MINN. - One day a couple of seasons down the road, David Broll hopes to deliver in pressure situations for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But it may be a while before he feels a similar heat to the one he felt sitting helplessly in the stands at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday afternoon.

Understand, that at 6-foot-2 230 pounds, the Mississauga native was one of the biggest players taken in the draft.

Never shy about dropping the gloves, he’s yet another big, bruising winger that caught the eye of general manager Brian Burke and was thus selected with the first pick of the sixth round, 152nd overall.

But as the moments between selections felt longer and the second round led to the third and eventually to the sixth, there was nobody for Broll to hit, no one for him to drop the gloves against.

A pressure like he had never felt before was definitely on as he joined the excruciatingly long faces among those yet to be drafted.

His dad, John, figured he had shelled out somewhere in the neighbourhoood of $3,000 to travel the Twin Cities for himself, his wife and their other son — for what they all hoped would be a once in a lifetime day.

As far as family vacations go though, the only thing this one had in common with Disneyland was the roller-coaster effect.

“Definitely once that (draft) board flipped to the sixth round, I was getting a little nervous,” David Broll said as he watched his dreams slowly slip and feared the disappointment for his whole family.

“It would have been pretty rough if I didn’t get picked, but here I am now wearing that jersey. It was a long wait but I’m very happy to end up where I ended up.”

To hear John Broll tell it, his son being drafted was never really in doubt. He had played for the Canadian under-18 team last summer. Around the Broll home, they jokingly call him “Central Scouting” for the way he has been following draft prospects, in particular the Leafs. The way he saw it, someone would have to take his big, tough kid.

“My dad tries to figure it out, he tries to act like a scout,” Broll said.

“My dad has blue and white everything in the house and he thinks they’ve got some good picks in this draft and the farm system is starting to pick up.”

For all John Broll’s confidence, his wife Carla admitted afterward that she wasn’t so sure.

“Was I nervous?,” Carla said. “Big time. As the draft progressed, it was like ’cripes, is it even going to happen?’

“We were seeing names that we had never seen before. Everyone was getting shifted down a little bit and how far you are going to down, it crosses your mind for sure.”

While Broll will be a long shot to make the team and is a minimum of two seasons away from even challenging for a spot, he’s made a name for himself in the OHL, first with the Erie Otters and now the Soo Greyhounds as a tough you know what.

Minutes after he was selected, Leafs fans were already posting some of his scraps — he had a dozen in the 2010-11 season — on Twitter.

Add him to the Tyler Biggs selection in the first round and Burke landed himself some more of the scrappiness he’s trying to spread throughout the organization.

“With two picks this year we took some guys with a pretty good disposition to belligerent play and this kid (Broll) is one of them,” Burke said.

And for now at least, the pressure is off.


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