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NHL dream comes true for Delta blueliner

Ethan Samson selected in Saturday's NHL Entry Draft
Ethan Samson
North Delta's Ethan Samson realized a childhood dream on Saturday when he was selected in the NHL Entry Draft.

It was a backyard celebration to remember for one North Delta family on Saturday.

Ethan Samson realized a lifelong dream when the Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the sixth round (174th overall) of the NHL Entry Draft. The 17-year-old blueliner with the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars had 12 points in 21 games in the shortened 2020-21 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samson watched the draft unfold with family while enjoying the summer weather in the backyard of his parents’ home.

“Just to hear my name with an NHL team being involved is something I dreamed about since I was little kid. It has been surreal to be honest. It’s finally starting to settle in,” said Samson who turns 18 next month. I realize it is only the beginning now. Even as excited as I am, the work is just starting.”

Sharing the special moment with his parents was only fitting given how much time and support they have put into his career.

“It’s something they have been helping with since I was little. Whether it was driving me places for extra training or talking to me about what I want to do with hockey. It was special to share it with them when they have done so much for me to get me where I am,” he added.”

Samson’s journey to being an NHL draft prospect began in North Delta Minor Hockey Association’s H1 program. He eventually moved on to the Burnaby Winter Club where he spent the next six seasons before returning home to play for the Delta Hockey Academy in 2017. A year later, he was selected 65th overall by Prince George in the WHL Bantam Draft.