Minn. hockey goalie hopes to be drafted

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn -- Like so many other soon-to-be college freshman 18-year-old Hunter Miska of Stacy, Minnesota has a dream.

"I want to be an NHL hockey player someday," says Miska. "And be a professional hockey player. It's something I have dreamed of since I was a kid."

This weekend that dream could become a reality as he is eligible for the first time, to be drafted into the NHL. Unlike forwards or defense where hundreds will be taken over the course of the draft only a limited number of goalies are chosen. Miska's goalie coach thinks he has something that sets him apart.

"The one thing he has that most elite goalies have is that he competes for every puck," says Dave Rogalski, Hunter's goalie coach at the Impact Hockey in St. Louis Park. "That's hard to train that's just a desire to not get scored on."

It's also pretty impressive for a kid that's only been playing the position for five years. In that time he's gone from North Branch, to the US National development team to the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Junior hockey league. All levels at which he's excelled in such a short time.

"My dad and I always say, think if we had done this earlier," recalls Miska. "It's going to be crazy to see the improvement over the next four years."

If the name Miska sounds familiar to you that is because his dad designs and paints goalie masks for NHL goalies. In fact, Hunter is getting involved in the family business so to speak, by designing and painting his own.

"It's a fun little hobby. I don't know if I could do it for a real job like my dad but it's a fun hobby," says Miska. "It was fun. I had a great experience painting next to him."

As much fun as it was, Miska still has his sights on hockey for a day job. Even if his name isn't called this weekend. After one more year of juniors he'll be playing at University of Minnesota-Duluth and continue to try and perfect his craft.

"It's only going to get me more excited," says Miska. "To work harder and harder and get better and better."


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