Dollard’s Devon Levi a Panther pick in NHL draft

“He’s just a great competitor and works hard. Most goalies want to step out and get a rest; I have to kick him out to get him out of the net,” Huskies’ head coach Jim Madigan said of Devon Levi.

It was getting to the late stages of last week’s National Hockey League’s entry draft as the seventh and final round wound down when Dollard’s Devon Levi was tapped by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round becoming the 212th overall selection. “It’s pretty hard not to think about your childhood dream now that I had a shot at getting drafted,” Devon Levi said. “Prior to the draft around 15 teams had been in contact, Florida not being one of them. They’re a great organization and I’m super happy to be with them.”

The former Lac St. Louis Lions’ goalie was monitoring the draft from Boston where he is in his freshman year at Northeastern University and will play for the Huskies in NCAA Division 1 in Hockey East. “I was watching the TV in our arena (Matthew Arena) and it was getting down to the wire,” Levi said. “During the seventh round there were a few phone calls going back and forth by teams with my coach (Jim Madigan) and then Florida called my name.” That was déjà vu for coach Madigan as, “I was telling a Florida scout that Devon would be a great pick about 45 minutes before it happened,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “ In 2017 I told a Canadiens’ scout the same thing about making Cayden Primeau a pick in the seventh round right about the same time before he was drafted by Montreal.”

Levi feels very fortunate to be at Northeastern from an academic and athletic standpoint and to get to play under head coach Madigan. “The coaching staff, coach Keefe and coach Madigan and the amount of success they’ve brought to this program is amazing” he said. “I wanted to come into this winning environment and contribute.”

The Huskies will get a season in with the question being when it will start but for now it is practice and train to be ready for the eventual opening of play. “A tremendous focused young man,” Northeastern head coach Madigan said. “Academically he’s a brilliant kid, athletically he competes, he battles, makes a second effort and he’s got talent, he’s a high level goalie.” Levi had been on Madigan’s radar for some time, “I watched him play for four years, three with Lac St. Louis and then with Carleton Place,” he said. “He’s just a great competitor and works hard. Most goalies want to step out and get a rest; I have to kick him out to get him out of the net.” Levi is really looking forward to the annual Beanpot Tournament played out of Boston’s TD Garden where the Huskies, the defending champs, face Hockey East rival Harvard, Boston University and Boston College for bragging rights. “Going to college and playing D1 (first division) hockey has been another dream of mine,” he said. “Getting to play in a program like Northeastern and go to a prestigious school academically is an amazing opportunity.” For now Levi will focus on his computer science studies and playing for the Huskies while holding his chance to play in the NHL close. “My whole hockey career I’ve taken it day by day and shot by shot,” Levi said. “Hopefully stopping one shot at a time will get me to play in the National Hockey League.”

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