Tangradi on the World Stage
Ducks prospect Eric Tangradi had the opportunity of a lifetime when he represented Team USA at the World Juniors in Ottawa
| “It is a dream come true,” Tangradi, said. “I try to never look ahead, but if you had asked me ‘in three years, do you think you will be in
By Frank Seravalli
Special to AnaheimDucks.com
Most people don’t like spending holidays away from home for the first time. Not Tangradi, who was surrounded by family and friends in
Skating for Team
“Between the World Juniors and my first NHL contract, you can’t really do any better than that for being 19 years old,” Tangradi said. “This was definitely my best Christmas.”
When Tangradi puts into focus the fact that just three years ago he was traveling the
“It is a dream come true,” Tangradi, said. “I try to never look ahead, but if you had asked me ‘in three years, do you think you will be in
Four consecutive quantum leaps have taken Tangradi, a
|“These are the best players in the world, not just one or two leagues," said Tangradi (second from right). "Other than winning a Stanley Cup or the Olympics, it is probably the most memorable thing that I will experience in my career. I am just blown away by this whole experience.”|
“Everything about playing in the OHL is professional,” Tangradi said. “You have the chance to solely concentrate on hockey. At first, it was a different world for me.
It didn’t take long for scouts around the NHL to notice Tangradi’s hulking 6-foot-4 frame. A left winger, Tangradi plays a physical brand of hockey but can also score. Just one 20-point rookie season was proof for the Ducks that Tangradi was a valuable commodity. They made him their second selection in the 2007 draft.
While it has been quite a ride to
Just a year earlier, Tangradi was snubbed from the Team USA roster despite a great season in the OHL. Throughout USA Hockey, there can be a tendency to ignore players in the Major Junior ranks and focus on players in the NCAA. Rather than let it deter him, Tangradi worked even harder to earn a spot on the roster.
“I guess that it is one of those things where I just didn’t fit into their plans,” Tangradi said. “Not making it helped me for sure. Any time that you are cut from a team, you can only build and get stronger.”
“He was drafted second overall, so he has been through a lot mentally and physically,” Tangradi said. “The media has been really hard on him, but he believes in himself. He is always positive and he is always working. He never gives up.”
Though it was a disappointing finish for the
“It was unbelievable,” said Tangradi, who scored the
“These are the best players in the world, not just one or two leagues. Other than winning a Stanley Cup or the Olympics, it is probably the most memorable thing that I will experience in my career. I am just blown away by this whole experience.”
For Tangradi, the ultimate captain, he isn’t looking ahead to his professional opportunities once he ages out of juniors after this season.
“I have my mindset on
Whether he ends up in
“It doesn’t really matter to me where I go,” Tangradi said. “I know that there is still work to be done. I will go wherever they tell me and just play my game. I couldn’t be more excited.”