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From Nichols to NHL

Surreal.  That is how Sean Malone describes the last year of his life.  The West Seneca native has seen his hockey career go from Nichols, to the U.S. National Team Development Program, to NHL prospect camps and finally, on Sunday, to the NHL draft in New Jersey.

The 5'11" 183 pound center was rated the 62nd best skater among North American prospects in the final rankings from  NHL Central Scouting so he could be a mid round pick come Sunday.  His stock is on the rise since Malone was  98th in the mid season rankings.

"I played at Nichols my sophomore and junior years and I had no idea I'd end up with the opportunity or the potential to be drafted" Malone said during an interview on WGR.  "Its something special and something I don't take for granted.  I'm really looking forward to it(the draft)."

Malone spent this past season playing for Team USA after being invited to the National Team Development Camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  His preparation for the draft has included playing in a prospects game at First Niagara Center last November and attending the NHL's prospects combine in Toronto earlier this month.

"I never thought I'd be doing something like this at age 18" Malone said.  "Even earning the opportunity to play for the national team this season was something special for me.  It was an honor to represent your country."

The national team experience included a tournament in Sochi, Russia which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

Malone, who also excelled at lacrosse and soccer whole at Nichols, will be in attendance at Sunday's draft with family and friends.

You can listen to the entire interview with Sean Malone:

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