REGINA — True to form, Chris Getzlaf’s Draft Day experience was low-key, and spent with family.
However, rather than staying home in Regina and enjoying the moment with his mom and dad, Getzlaf boarded a plane to California to visit his younger brother Ryan, who was in the middle of a run to the Stanley Cup with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
“My story is a bit different. I was en-route to see my brother, and I knew I was landing just as the Draft was starting,” said Getzlaf.
“I had a friend updating via text whenever he could.”
As luck would have it, just as he arrived at his brother’s home in Anaheim, Getzlaf was selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with the first pick of the fifth round.
Though the Regina Rams product expected to be drafted, he wasn’t anticipating waiting that long to hear his name called.
“Everyone thinks they deserve to go higher. But when you’re talking eight picks a round, it’s not that many players,” he said, keeping things in perspective.
Four receivers were taken ahead of Getzlaf in the 2007 Draft, including Chris Bauman (first overall, Hamilton) and Jabari Arthur (sixth overall, Calgary).
In fact, Bauman played an integral role in convincing then-Ticats general manager Marcel Desjardins to draft his close friend.
“I spoke to (Bauman) afterwards and he told me that they turned to him and asked if they should take me with their next pick,” he said laughing.