NHL Draft: South Deerfield’s Kaz Sobieski taking measured approach to potential selection

  • South Deerfield’s Kaz Sobieski, a UMass commit, is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, which begins Thursday in Montreal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • South Deerfield’s Kaz Sobieski, a UMass commit, is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, which begins Thursday in Montreal.

Staff Writer
Published: 7/6/2022 7:12:47 PM
Modified: 7/6/2022 7:10:09 PM

Kaz Sobieski can’t help but look.

The 18-year-old South Deerfield native knows exactly where he sits ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft, to be held Thursday and Friday in Montreal.

“Obviously it’s always been a dream of mine to get drafted, so it’s hard to not look at the ratings and stuff,” Sobieski said.

The 6-foot, 180-pound defenseman ranks 130th among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting chart. It’s far from a guarantee but definitely in the ballpark. He’ll watch it from home in South Deerfield and see what happens.

“There’s no guarantees after the second round,” said Sobieski, a UMass commit.

Whatever happens, he’s luxuriating in the home cooking and time spent with family. Sobieski spends a lot of time away from the Pioneer Valley competing for Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota, the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede and attending elite camps and showcases.

“I’m really not home too often. It’s really only the summers,” Sobieski said. “It’s a big part of why I chose UMass for college, to be home and be around my family a little more.”

He’s not just sitting around on the couch watching reruns, though. Sobieski trains with Patrick Tabb in Springfield staying fresh and sharpening his skills. This summer is huge for Sobieski whether or not he gets drafted. He missed three months of last season with ankle surgery.

“A lot of guys could get an edge or have a little more time to develop while I was just sitting around still doing as much as I could,” Sobieski said. “I’m just trying to stay focused on my summer training and see what happens on draft day. If I get picked or not, we’ll see. It doesn’t change anything.”

Regardless of how the draft transpires, Sobieski will join Sioux Falls and play a full USHL season in September. He’s on track to join the Minutemen for the 2023-24 season. All of that is still on the table if he’s selected since draft picks can still play in the USHL and NCAA with the team still retaining their rights. Sobieski will also remain eligible for the draft until he turns 20 the year of the draft.

“I feel like I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. Not getting drafted really doesn’t change anything for me, it just gives me more motivation, adds more fuel to the fire,” Sobieski said.

Still, he acknowledges the other side, too.

“Obviously it would be nice to get drafted,” he said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.


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