Riley Barber admits that while being selected in the NHL Draft last June was a dream come true, having to wait until the sixth-round (167th overall) for his name to be called was a major disappointment.
Rather than feel sorry for himself though, the Washington Capitals prospect says that he used his draft position as motivation heading into his freshman season at Miami University.
“I’d say that yeah I really wanted to prove something to all of the people that passed me by in the [earlier] rounds [of the NHL Draft],” Barber recently told the Capitals Radio Network.
“But I really just knew that getting drafted really doesn’t mean anything; it’s what you do after the draft to make your dream [a reality], which for me is to play in the NHL.”
Barber is likely still a few years away from reaching the NHL, but the 19-year-old has gone a long way this season towards making that dream a reality.
The freshman led Miami in scoring with 36 points (15 goals and 19 assists) in 34 games and was a key cog on a RedHawks team that finished the regular-season this past weekend atop the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings.
“You never expect to have this much success this early in your career, but I can’t say that I’m not happy it happened,” said Barber, who not only led the CCHA with 36 points but was also tops in scoring among all freshman nationwide.
“Coach [Enrico Blasi] has a lot of respect for me- not that coaches in the past haven’t had respect for me- but he’s giving me a ton of opportunity on the first power play [unit], playing on the penalty kill and playing in all situations and I think that’s helped tremendously for my numbers.”
Meet Caps prospect Riley Barber
CSN Washington | Mar 5