TRAVERSE CITY — Today’s the day Brandon Halverson crosses off another bucket list item.
The Traverse City native is expected to be drafted in the second day of the National Hockey League’s Entry Draft.
He was interviewed by 10 teams at the combine — including the Detroit Red Wings — as well as four others previously.
“That was pretty surreal, walking in and being interviewed by a team you’ve watched your whole life and grown up with,” Halverson said.
The 18-year-old goaltender said he has no idea which teams have the most interest in him, as most clubs play it close to the vest.
“One of my buddies who got drafted last year, one of the teams that didn’t even talk to him was the team that ended up drafting him,” Halverson said.
Halverson took the long road to the NHL, one that hockey players frequently travel.
He left Traverse City as a freshman to play AAA Midget hockey in Detroit, passing on the opportunity to play high school hockey in his hometown.
“That was a big decision when I was 14 years old,” Halverson said. “My freshman year, I had to decide right there if I wanted to go play in a better league in AAA in Detroit and ended up moving away from (Traverse City) and played AAA for three years.”
During his second year in Detroit, he was drafted by the Greyhounds, then closed out with the Oakland Grizzlies, where he split time in net with fellow Traverse City native Michael Tilford.
“I never got talked to by any USHL or college teams,” Halverson said. “The OHL is probably the best development league in the world, so it was a good place for me to go.”
Halverson’s size is what most obviously intrigues NHL scouts. At 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, he covers a lot of net.