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Ratcliffe leads group of four Guelph Storm players taken in NHL draft

Calls being taken by Philadelphia Flyers in the second round a "surreal" experience
Guelph Storm winger Isaac Ratcliffe was the first of four Storm players taken in the NHL draft on Saturday. photo

The "longest walk" of Isaac Ratcliffe's life really wasn't that long: Down a flight of stairs then across the arena floor at Chicago's United Centre to meet the Philadelphia Flyers brass.

Ratcliffe was the first of four Guelph Storm players chosen in the National Hockey League entry draft on Saturday.

The Flyers took Ratcliffe with the fourth pick of the second round, 35th overall.

"I'm still shaking. It's been a hectic morning, it's all so surreal still," said Ratcliffe over the phone from his Chicago hotel room on Saturday afternoon.

"It's unbelievable and I can't really describe the feeling. Every player that heard their name yesterday and today can still feel the butterflies. That moment is going to be with me the rest of my life.

"My heart dropped when I heard my name and walking down those stairs was the longest walk of my life. I think the butterflies were pretty much carrying me down the stairs."

Three of his Guelph Storm teammates were taken shortly after.

Centre Nate Schnarr was next to go, taken with the 13th pick of the third round, 75th overall, by the Arizona Coyotes. Defenceman Dmitri Samorukov was drafted in the third round, 84th overall by the Edmonton Oilers. Centre Liam Hawel was drafted in the fourth round, 101st overall, by the Dallas Stars.

Ratcliffe was expected to go late in the first round or early in the second but had no forewarning that the Flyers were going to take him.

It was nice to know that they traded up in the draft in order to take him.

"I wasn't really sure coming into (Saturday) where I was going to fall and where I was going to end up, but to see them trade up a few picks for me shows how bad they want me there. It's definitely very exciting."

He wasn't overly disappointed about not being taken in Friday night's first round.

"I knew I was getting drafted no matter what, it really didn't matter the number. I'm excited and I'm very happy to come out of today being with Philly.

Ratcliffe's plans for the rest of Saturday were to relax a bit then celebrate in Chicago with friends and family who came down for the draft.

David Farrance, a Guelph Storm pick from two years ago who has played in the United States national team program and has committed to attend Boston College, was drafted in the third round, 92nd overall, by the Nashville Predators.