Sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go.
While Jonathan Ang answered nature’s call at the 2016 National Hockey League Draft Saturday, the Florida Panthers called his name in the fourth round, taking him with the 94th overall pick.
“It’s incredible,” he said of being selected. “The anticipation was fun.” Technically, he didn’t hear his name called. “To be completely honest, I was in the washroom.”
The Peterborough Petes center is thought to be the first NHL draft pick of Malaysian heritage.
Ang’s parents moved to Canada, settling near Toronto in Markham, Ontario, where Ang was born. An older brother was the first in the family to try hockey, and his parents later put young Jonathan in a program as well. “It was a good call,” he said with a chuckle.
Ang, 5-11 and 160 pounds, says he needs to add strength and size “to take the puck to the net.” He looks to stars like Phil Kessel and John Tavares as models for skilled play.
“I’m not the biggest guy,” he said. “I use my speed to my advantage and I’m a playmaker.” But he can also score goals, as demonstrated in a nifty score against the mighty London Knights. He finished fourth on the Petes in scoring in 2015-16 with 21 goals and 28 assists in 68 games.
Ang led the Petes in playoff scoring, tallying 3 goals and 6 assists in seven games with one playoff game-winning goal. In an OHL coach’s poll in March, Ang tied for second as the league’s best skater.
Sporting a newly restyled Panthers jersey, Ang acknowledged that he’d never been to the Sunshine State. “Winter’s gonna be bad, eh?” he joked.
The Color of Hockey’s Lew Serviss wrote this article.