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Sudbury Wolves players describe excitement of being picked in the NHL draft

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It's been an exciting few weeks for two Sudbury Wolves players who are fresh out of NHL training camps.

Nathan Villeneuve and Kieron Walton heard their names called in Las Vegas during the NHL entry draft.

Villeneuve, a centre with the Wolves, described the moment as surreal: hearing his name called as a second-round pick for the Seattle Kraken.

"My parents and my brother and sister were all there. So, I mean, share that all,” he said.

“That was pretty special. I'm kind of giving back to the sacrifices they made over the last couple of years. So, I mean, it's obviously a very nice moment, but it's just the start of everything.”

The Ottawa native scored 23 goals in just 56 games last year, and said his offensive and defensive abilities made him stand out.

For his part, Walton racked up 56 points in his last two seasons with the Wolves. He also saw success in Las Vegas, selected as a sixth-round pick for the Winnipeg Jets.

“It's been crazy,” he said. “It's obviously a lot of pressure. A lot of anticipation. But when you finally your name called, it's. It feels great and (I'm) really excited.”

Walton and Villeneuve joined the Wolves at 16 years old, and say it’s the comradery and a desire for excellence shared by the team that have elevated their own skill sets.

“The guys there, they're great, are my teammates that are awesome and the organization is good,” Walton said.

“So yeah, but it prepares you. You know, you come from minor hockey to junior and it's a step.”

“I'm a Wolf for life,” Villeneuve said.

“I always say a lot of us, just some somewhere that don't really want to leave me. And fans, they're amazing. My teammates, coaches, staff, games, everyone. There is a really good, good group of people and it always feels like home there. So I think that's kind of like the right fit for me and for me and my family.”

Both say they will spend the summer training and spending time with friends and family, but are eager to get back out on the ice to play another season with the Wolves this fall.

Villeneuve and Walton weren't the only OHL players representing our region.

Forwards Ethan Procyszyn, Anthony Romani and Dalyn Wakely of the North Bay Battalion were selected in the NHL draft.

Goalie Landon Miller and forward Owen Allard were selected from the Sault.

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