Dreams Do Come True! Nikolas Koberstein drafted by the Montreal Canadiens!

It was life as usual this past weekend for the Olds Grizzlys’ Nikolas Koberstein until he got a call from the Montreal Canadiens. 
The defenceman was in the middle of having lunch on June 28 when the team alerted him that he’d just been picked in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, 125th overall. 
He was the Canadiens’ third pick overall during the draft. 
Koberstein, a Barrhead resident who just finished his rookie season with the Grizzlys, did not expect the news. 
“It was just amazing, really.  I kind of had to rub my eyes at first because when they told me the news, it was pretty exciting,” Koberstein said.
The 18 year old had previously been ranked 205th on NHL Central scouting’s list of North American skaters.  But throughout the process, Koberstein, 18, said he was never worried about getting selected. 
Now, he joins selective company, as only one of 83 players drafted to the NHL from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in 51 years of its existence. 
According to Brett Hopfe, the Grizzlys’ head coach and director of hockey operations, Koberstein joined that group because of his ice vision and playing style. 
“His ability to compete night in and night out is very special,” Hopfe said.  “His ability to see the ice and make a good first pass is phenomenal.  That’s something we noticed in him and we know that when Montreal came, that’s one thing they talked to us about.”
During the 2013-2014 season, Koberstein recorded five goals, 13 assists and 153 penalty minutes in 51 games played.
The last time a Grizzly was selected by an NHL team was in 2003, when Olds’ Jay Rosehill was drafted in the seventh round, 227th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s very exciting for, I think, the town of Olds to have a player drafted.  It’s been probably 12, 13 years since that’s happened,” Hopfe added.  “It’s exciting because of how high he went and it’s exciting that we’ve got him back for another year.”
The next Grizzlys season will be Koberstein’s last before he heads to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
He will take over captainship from Spencer Dorowicz, now on his way to play for  Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. 
Koberstein said he learned a lot about leadership and playing hard each night from Dorowicz.  “It was a great privilege to be under his wing with him being the captain.  He was a fantastic leader,” Koberstein said. 
Hopfe said the team will benefit from Koberstein’s added confidence from being drafted as well as the experience of attending the Habs’ rookie camp.
He will also put more emphasis on having the defenceman focus on shooting.
“We’re really going to push him to shoot the puck as many times as he can and let the forwards do their job in front of the net,” Hopfe said.  “I think that Nik with his confidence from going through this, will come out very strong here, beginning next year.”
Although Hopfe plans to rely on Koberstein more heavily on both ends of the ice, he stressed that his time on the Grizzlys is a chance to further refine his game before going pro.
“Nik, I’m sure will put pressure on himself to be better and just needs to realize it’s a process.  You don’t just go from our level to the NHL,” he said.
“You have to develop and work on things that you’re not so strong on and get better day and day. 
“Eventually, if the stars line up, you end up making it there.”
The Canadiens currently own Koberstein’s draft rights but have not signed him to a contract.