We all wonder how a prospect feels on draft day. Did they get any sleep? Did they eat? Do they have an idea of who is interested in drafting them? What we never ask is how the parents are doing. How were they feeling? What was their son’s draft day like?
Prospects and draft picks get all the attention on draft day, rightfully so. Who gets them there though? How do they feel about the process and day of the draft? Luckily enough, we were able to talk to Patric Sandin, the father of Toronto Maples Leafs 2018 first round pick Rasmus Sandin. With Fathers Day and the 2019 NHL Entry Draft all coming up very shortly, Patric Sandin was able to give us a few minutes of his time just before the Toronto Marlies conference finals series.
Patric Sandin, Hockey Dad
Tony Ferrari: Thank you for taking the time do do this with me today!
Patric Sandin: No problem!
TF: At what age did you realize that Rasmus was going to be a special player?
PS: He was really early with everything, reading, speaking, cycling and in all sports. But I think I saw him as a special player when he was 13-14 years. Especially in the biggest hockey tournament in Sweden called TV-pucken. He was really good and was contributing big time when his team won the gold.
TF: Rasmus has handled the pressure of the Toronto market well. He’s a smart young man and has shown that in the media. What was Rasmus’ personality like as a young child?
PS: He was really outgoing and mature. He was always in the middle no matter if it was with older people or in his own age. He is the kindest person you’ll ever meet but if you do him wrong he will tell you.
TF: Smart man. Do you have a memory of Rasmus’ childhood that sticks out? Hockey or non hockey related?
PS: One of many memorys is when I saw him on a bicycle for the first time. I was sitting in my livingroom and relaxed when I saw something coming down from a quite big slope. It was Rasmus four years old on his mothers bike doing like 30 km/h!
TF: That’s almost faster than I can ride now!
PS: It was crazy!
TF: Walk me through your day on the day Rasmus was drafted. What did you do while you waited? Did you speak with Kyle Dubas at all?
PS: It was some intense and hot days in Dallas with meetings and everything. But on the draft day everything was chill. My family and agents were just waiting for the night. Nice breakfast and a powerwalk, then lunch out in the city. Then the nerves beginning to come. We met Rasmus who had some last minute meetings. He was cool as always. When we came to the arena (American Airlines Center) we began to realize what was gonna happen. One of our family’s biggest moment.
During the draft I saw for the first time that Rasmus was a little tense. I can’t blame him. Name after name was called. I had a strong belief in Toronto and I was really hoping for the Leafs. Then it was #29 pick and the TV and Media started to approach Rasmus. The pulse started to rush.
My feelings can’t be described when they called Rasmus name. It was a moment I never forget.
After everything happened so fast. We met Mr. Dubas and Mr. Babcock after the draft, and we also met the whole Toronto management the day after when they had a reception. It was really cool to sit down with Coach Babcock for a beer. Really great people in the organization.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) June 25, 2018
TF: That sounds like a day of excitement and nerves all mixed in one. Did you or Rasmus have a favourite NHL team as he was growing up?
PS: Toronto with Borje Salming was my favourite. I don’t know about Rasmus but I think it was Toronto for him too.
TF: I know you have another son, Linus, who is making his way with HV71 next season. Did the two boys compete with each other or were they supportive of each other? A mixture of both?
PS: Linus always helped Rasmus and Rasmus was always allowed to play with the older boys. They are supertight and talks on the phone almost every day.
TF: As a father to two professional hockey players, what is the most important thing you taught your sons?
PS: Always give 100%. Always be a good friend.
TF: Rasmus has impressed thus far with the Toronto Marlies. He is exceeding expectations and the fanbase is beginning to get excited about his arrival with the Leafs in the next year or so. What is going to be your first thought when he calls and tells you that Kyle Dubas has called him up to the Leafs?
PS: I have to go book my flight to Toronto directly!
TF: The season and production that Rasmus has put up this year with the Marlies has made him the highest scoring 18-year-old defender in AHL history. Has that set in for you or him?
PS: No I don’t think so. Maybe after the season it will.
TF: Have you attended any of Rasmus’ games here in Toronto? If so, what was that experience like?
PS: We went to Toronto in november and watched some Marlies game. It was really nice. Love Toronto. We also went to a Raptors game also. Nice game yesterday with the last second from Kawhi. (The “Kawhi Shot” just happened the day before we spoke initially).
TF: Finally, if your children were reading this and you could give them one piece of Fatherly advice, what would it be?
PS: Be good and treat people like you want to be treated.
As you can see, the day of the draft and everything leading up and after are almost as nerve wracking for fathers as it is their sons. The path the professional hockey is a long and extremely hard it’s to take. Not everyone makes it there. Some don’t make it to the NHL. It’s a journey that is made so much easier by loving family, friends and a father who does everything in his power to make sure their child doesn’t hurt themselves riding a bike down a hill at 30km/h. Patric Sandin is one of many examples of a father doing his best to push their son to their peak and letting him grow into a mature young man looking to carve his career out on the ice of a National Hockey League arena.
Special Thank you to Patric Sandin for giving me your time! You were outstanding!