“I don’t want to take away from the significance of the draft, but drafts can sometimes be deceiving,” Mazzoleni said. “When a player is drafted, he is picked because of his potential four years down the road, until he leaves college or graduates from college. The NHL bases a lot of things on size, and we have a pretty good-sized team.”
Though the NHL expects players to develop at the college level, Mazzoleni’s job is to ensure that the Crimson wins now.
“Sure, we have a focus and responsibility to make sure our young men’s games develop so that they may be able to go to the NHL, but our main goal is to improve our program and make sure that it is doing well,” he said.
With the focus on the present, neither Flynn nor Grumet-Morris sees the draft causing any divisions in the locker room, even though draftees outnumber non-draftees on the Crimson roster.
“The draft is in the summer and has no bearing on the season,” Grumet-Morris said. “On the ice, everyone is the same. Whether or not you have a few extra initials or asterisks in the program has no bearing on how you play.”
“We barely talk about [the draft],” Flynn said. “I suppose it is a reflection of the quality of our players, but as far as I’m concerned we could have 22 players drafted.”
With their commitment to earning a Harvard degree, both Flynn and Grumet-Morris have their skates firmly planted in Cambridge for the next three years.
“It’s cool to be a part of something that is so big, that for so many years has been a part of your life,” Grumet-Morris said. “Right now, though, it’s in the distance. My concentration is on Harvard hockey.”
—Staff writer David A. Weinfeld can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org