Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets



photo by Jim Orlando
06/24/2010 9:25 AM -

Note: The Rockford IceHogs will be doing profiles of several current and former players' experiences in the NHL Entry Draft this week. Over 58 percent of the IceHogs players in the last three seasons were drafted to start their professional career.

Rockford, Ill.-
When the 2006 NHL Entry Draft stopped in Vancouver, British Columbia, Simon Danis-Pepin was one of those anxious members of the audience at General Motors Place waiting to hear his name. But June 24, 2006, was not the first draft day Danis-Pepin had endured.

Danis-Pepin’s previous draft experience came in the Q Draft of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The defenseman suffered an injury and was never drafted in that attempt. As a result, Danis-Pepin took a different approach when the 2006 NHL Entry Draft rolled around.

“That was really upsetting,” Danis-Pepin said of the Q Draft. “That was kind of my experience already from getting drafted, so I kind of went into the draft in Vancouver with the idea that whatever happens, happens. If I’m not drafted by the sixth, seventh round, who cares? You just keep doing what you got to do.

“But I got picked by Chicago late second round and I couldn’t be more happy,” Danis-Pepin added.

The Montreal, Quebec, native was drafted 61st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 2 of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. For Danis-Pepin, being drafted by the Blackhawks was both a dream come true and the next step in a life-long process.

“When I got drafted, it was just probably the best day of my life,” Danis-Pepin said. That’s what you work for your whole life as a kid, especially from Montreal: hockey. That’s all you want, that’s all you ever want is to have a chance, a shot at the NHL.”

Being drafted by an Original Six franchise made the experience even better for the 6-foot-7 defenseman.

“You can’t really describe the feeling you have. You’re almost in shock,” Danis-Pepin said. “It’s just like wow, this is happening right now. You’re a 17-year-old kid and you’re getting drafted, so it was obviously probably the biggest day of my life.”

Danis-Pepin already had a year of collegiate hockey at the University of Maine under his belt before the draft, and he would play three more seasons for the Black Bears before signing a three-year entry-level contract with Chicago in 2009.

Unlike drafts such as NFL and NBA, hockey players have the opportunity to remain in school for three years before they sign with their team. Danis-Pepin took full advantage of the college experience, earning a degree in advertising and marketing from Maine.

“It was kind of nice to have the feeling where I’m going to school, I’m playing for University of Maine, and I feel like a sense of belonging there. But then again I also have guys following me up in Chicago,” Danis-Pepin said.

“So it’s really motivating to know that it’s not like you’re just going to the draft and right away you’re trying to make the team the next year. It’s a process and they’re always there to watch you and all that. They give you a lot of hints and all that stuff for what you have to do to make it.”

The defensemen split time between the Toledo Walleye and the Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10, his first season of professional hockey. Now with his first pro season behind him, Danis-Pepin knows “it’s all about hockey.”

This summer, that means working out five days a week at 100 percent. And Danis-Pepin already has plans for next season, too.

“I think I really got to take it as a career, take it as my job and focus all the time on doing what I got to do to be the best player I can,” Danis-Pepin said. “This season what I’m going to have to do is just stay focused, listen to what everyone has to say, be coachable, and just keep working hard.”

Antti Niemi Saves, Now So Can You:  Buy a regularly priced mezzanine endzone full season ticket for 2010-11 and get an additional one for just $31.  Some restrictions apply.  Call (815) 847-6399 to speak with an IceHogs season ticket representative.

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200