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The message caught Tyler Moy a little off-guard. Trying to relax at his San Diego home as the clock ticked down on his final year of National Hockey League Entry Draft eligibility, the 19-year-old received a congratulatory text from an old coach. The Nashville Predators then confirmed the news:
With the Predators’ sixth round pick from the BB&T Center draft floor in Sunrise, Fla., Saturday, Moy entered a select fraternity of Crimson players. Moy is the 87th Harvard player to be selected in an NHL entry draft, and only the ninth to be drafted as a rising college junior.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the Predators organization,” Moy said a little over an hour after his name was called. “It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
As a sophomore in 2014-2015, Moy finished third among Crimson skaters in goals (12) and fourth in points (27) while splitting most of his time between the team’s first and third lines. He centered fellow Predators pick and NCAA-leading goal scorer Jimmy Vesey through the season’s middle-third and played a key role in Harvard’s first ECAC championship since 2006.
The Predators, who drafted Vesey 66th overall in 2012, were particularly impressed by Moy’s versatility and intelligence. Nashville amateur scout Tom Nolan described the 6’1” Moy as “a late bloomer” and “a real smart, two-way, big guy that can skate.”
“We just feel he is ready to take off,” Nolan said Saturday. “He had a great year this year, so we’re just looking for more improvement for him going forward.”
Despite having received interest from multiple teams before the draft, Moy entered Saturday as an underdog. His name did not appear in NHL Central Scouting’s pre-draft rankings and was absent from most mock drafts. As one of the oldest players in the draft and one of the youngest rising juniors in college hockey, he represented a challenging prospect for pro teams to evaluate.
Moy admitted he was a little nervous as he remained undrafted into the day’s penultimate round, but tried to keep things in perspective.
“I still got a lot ahead of me, and if I wasn’t drafted, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world or anything,” Moy said. “But I’m really excited it happened, and I just tried to stay positive. I figured that whatever happens happens, and I control my destiny from there.”
The Predators were not among the teams that had granted Moy a pre-draft interview. The only feedback Moy received from Nashville leading up to the draft was about two weeks ago through Vesey, who indicated in a text that Nashville’s scouts had spoken highly of Moy.
Moy will now prepare to join Vesey at the Predators’ prospect development camp, which will be held July 6-11 in Nashville. Moy says that his paternal grandfather’s family is from the Nashville area, but the camp will be his first trip to the Music City. Although Moy grew up as a Detroit Red Wings fan, he recalls rooting for the Central Division rival Predators as a young child.
“I liked their logo so much,” said Moy, who has developed an appreciation for art and design as a skilled graphite drawer. “I remember having a Nashville t-shirt. That was a cool thing because it had the cool Predator on there.”
—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mdledecky.
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