Road to the NHL Draft: WNY native Matt Ladd

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 09:55:04-04

For Matt Ladd, goalie is the only position he's ever known.

"I first started playing out in the my basement with my dad.  He used to shoot pucks at me and I always wanted to play goalie, it's always been my dream to play, whenever I could."

From protecting the pipes in his basement, to patrolling the crease in the National Hockey League -- that vision is within reach for the 17-year-old Williamsville native.  In his first draft eligible year, he could hear his name called this weekend at the NHL Draft.

"It's an honor just being imagined for the draft and would be great to hear my name called," he said.  "It'd be a dream come true, especially to share it with my friends and family in Buffalo, it'd be awesome."

The netminder has seen interest from the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks, who have won the Stanley Cup in three out of the last seven years.

"Especially with Patty Kane being from Buffalo, it'd be pretty cool to be picked by them, too."

To get to this point in his career, Ladd spent the first three years of his high school career at Williamsville North before transferring to Avon Old Farms, a prep school in Connecticut, for his senior season.

"The speed and types of players in the league, each team usually has commits going to top hockey schools across the country, so every night had a big game, you couldn't take a night off and the compete level was through the roof."

Now as the clock ticks down to start of the draft, Ladd says the past year on the ice has been surreal.

"It's been a dream. I've grown up, every kid wants to be drafted and play in the NHL."

After from the draft, Ladd says he plans on attending camp with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders of the United States Hockey League as he continues his quest to crack an NHL Roster.