TRAVERSE CITY — Brandon Halverson said it was the first time he’s ever cried tears of happiness.
The Traverse City 18-year-old was selected in the second round by the New York Rangers — 59th overall — in Saturday’s NHL Entry Draft.
“I was just sitting in the room with my dad and his friends who came up from Chicago,” Halverson said. “A couple of my close friends were there and my brother. It was just the second round, so I wasn’t paying attention too much, kind of glancing at it. My friend was talking to me and we heard ‘Soo Greyhounds’ and suddenly everybody just stopped talking. We looked up and my little thing pops up, saying ‘Brandon Halverson to the New York Rangers.’ I started bawling right there. I started crying.
“After everything I sacrificed, to see my name up there on TV, it really brought tears to my eyes. I never had tears of happiness until (then).”
That, unfortunately, isn’t the only reason for tears in the family.
Halverson’s maternal grandfather, Jack Dowling, is in Hospice care with end-stage congestive heart failure.
“He’s torn, because he has to be where he has to be,” Jennifer Halverson said of her son. “He’s not going to get to say goodbye to him in person. It’s been very hard on him.”
Halverson is putting a picture of his 86-year-old grandfather — who is in the Chicago Softball Hall of Fame — on the back of his new goalie helmet.
Dowling was able to watch a recording of the draft later in the day, then received a phone call from Brandon.
“He got to say his goodbyes to him in the afternoon,” Jennifer Halverson said. “And he told him that will always be in his heart and in every game he plays.”