Korczak was joined by family and friends at the Back Forty Brewery in his hometown of Yorkton to watch the draft progress on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and when his name was finally called in the third round, 75th overall by the New York Rangers, well, it was on.
“My buddies and me were sitting at a table, then my mom saw my name pop up on the screen and my best buddy came over and started hugging me and my mom came over and was jumping around,” Korczak said in describing the moment. “Then it was just a big group hug.
“It was pretty cool. Waiting there for my name to come up was pretty stressful, but it was nice to be able to spend time with my family and friends and be part of that whole experience.”
Among those watching the proceedings was older brother Kaeden, a second-round pick, 41st overall of the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2019 Entry Draft. Naturally, he gave his younger sibling the gears for being picked later, but the family pride was still a huge part of the moment.
“That’s definitely cool, having him there and congratulating me and knowing that we’ve both been drafted is something else,” Korczak said.
It wasn’t long after his name was called that the phone started to ring. Korczak fielded multiple calls from New York Rangers coaches and personnel offering congratulations and a bit of direction for the near future.
“They were saying they were pumped up to see me in camp in September,” Korczak said. “A couple of things we’ve been talking about is my play in the defensive zone and improving my shot, that’s just a couple steps I have to get to to play in the NHL.”
On thing Korczak is definitely looking forward to is returning to Moose Jaw for the upcoming Warriors season. Even though he wore an ‘A’ with the team last season, his leadership role will only increase now that he’s an NHL pick.
“It’s cool and people are going to look up to you, especially the 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds,” Korczak said. “I’ll have to be a leader on and off the ice, and I think it’s going to be pretty fun year and we’re going to what we can to take a run at a Memorial Cup.”
The good -- and impressive -- thing is he won’t be alone. Four of his teammates -- defenceman Daemon Hunt (Minnesota, 2020), defenceman Cole Jordan (Calgary, 2021), forward Martin Rysavy (Columbus, 2021) and defenceman Max Wanner (Edmonton, 2021) are also NHL Draft picks, with the latter three all being selected after Korczak on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s crazy and definitely pretty awesome, seeing all the guys get drafted was pretty special,” Korczak said. “I sent them all a text when they were drafted and we were going back and forth, they’re all pumped up for the season and heading out to their NHL camps, too.”
For now, though, it’s all just a matter of letting it sink in.
“Yeah, I know, it still seems weird,” Korczak said. “ I’m from Yorkton, Saskatchewan and now I’m going to New York and Rangers camp. It’s weird to say, but it’s pretty exciting."