Being rated in the third round of the NHL draft amounts to nothing if your name is never called.

Michael Chaput knew that.

Before leaving home in Montreal to attend this weekend’s draft festivities in Los Angeles, he knew there was a chance he was going with the possibility of a letdown.

“There’s always a chance you don’t get drafted, no matter where you’re ranked,” Chaput said Thursday before flying out. “Teams can say they like you, but until they say your name, they can always change their minds.”

There was no letdown for Chaput on this day.

The Philadelphia Flyers, with the 89th overall pick — the second-to-last pick in the third round — selected the Lewiston Maineiacs’ center, ending the anticipation and sending a sigh of relief through the Chaput camp.

“I spoke with 10 or 15 teams coming into the draft, and Philadelphia wasn’t one of them,” said an elated Chaput on Saturday. “But, for sure, it’s a great feeling. It’s hard to describe.”

Chaput was able to walk to the podium to receive his jersey, and he was proud to slip the Flyers’ colors over his head.

“There are some good players here. It’s a good organization,” Chaput said. “They have some good Q guys here, too, and it’s good to see that.”

Chaput was the first of two Maineiacs skaters selected Saturday, the second day of the NHL’s annual session.

Three rounds later, with the 176th pick, the Washington Capitals selected Lewiston defenseman Sam Carrier.

“I was really surprised. I wasn’t expecting them to draft me,” a still audibly surprised Carrier said. “I met with them once earlier this year, but that’s it.”

“We’re really happy for both of them,” Lewiston GM Roger Shannon said. “I’m happy for them and for our team.”

Shannon was surprised, though, that at least one more Maineiacs skater didn’t get called.

“When I look at the kids who got taken, and look at a kid like Matthew Bissonette, who didn’t go, it’s surprising,” Shannon said. “I felt very strongly that we had some other NHL draft picks on this team.”

Jess Tanguy and Stefan Fournier were also eligible this season.

“I hope this will be added incentive for those players to come back and work twice as hard next season, so they don’t get passed over next year.”

As for Chaput and Carrier, Shannon expect both players to return to the Maineiacs with even more fire of their own.

“I’ve never understood the mentality some players have, that they’ve made it already by being drafted,” Shannon said. “If anything, if they have any kind of hockey network around them, they’ll get the advice that this is just another step in the process, a starting point. Guys who think they’ve made it never do. If anything, players should be working twice as hard. They’ll be looked at by their teams with a more watchful eye. Hockey, it’s so hard to make it, if you don’t keep working hard, you don’t have a chance.”

The Maineiacs will take part in the Canadian Hockey League’s import draft Tuesday, and will then look ahead to the team’s preseason camp in mid-August.

“For both me and (Carrier), it will be a big boost of confidence for camp,” Chaput said. “But we still have to work hard, we haven’t made any teams yet.”


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