Western New York native Thomas McCollum of the OHL's Guelph Storm has been ranked the #1 North American goaltender in Central Scouting's final list for the 2008 NHL draft. Draft winds blow McCollum's way On the possibility of being selected by the Sabres:
"That would be great, to play in front of your hometown fans," McCollum said of the possibility. "But they've got a couple of goaltenders in their system who are younger and pretty talented, and they have Ryan Miller there right now."On the unlikely path taken to draft day:
He was discovered by Guelph by accident, when Niagara-area scout Bob Rivet went to a tournament with the intention of scouting one of McCollum's teammates. A visit by the coaching staff, several phone calls and a trip by the close-knit McCollum family (his parents and grandparents are season-ticket holders) to Guelph sealed the deal. Nobody expected he would have two OHL all-star games and trip to the top prospects game on his resumé in his first two seasons in the league. "There are times it hits me, especially when I'm back home," McCollum says of his rise to fame. "If I'm talking with a friend that I used to play junior B with, it's kind of like 'how did I get lucky and end up in Guelph and they're stuck there?' I put the time in, I work hard. But at the same time I caught a break."