Posted at: 06/14/2013 7:40 PM
Updated at: 06/14/2013 7:47 PM
By: Dan Williamson
Hermantown, Minn. - It wasn't that long ago that Drew LeBlanc was skating on the ice at Hermantown Arena, making a name for himself while playing for his hometown Hawks and even winning a state title in 2007. He returned Friday, now signing his name and in front of his friend 'Hobey.'
"This is where my roots are and I will never forget walking out of that tunnel in front of the home crowd and hearing the Hawks' siren go," says LeBlanc.
He'll also never forget 2013. From leading St. Cloud State to the Frozen Four, signing with the Chicago Blackhawks, playing internationally and winning the 2013 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's top player.
"To hear your name being called is pretty special and it is one of those things where it felt like it lasted an eternity and I was so nervous I could barely stand there. Maybe being that it was such as prestigious award (Hobey Baker Award) and like I said, I don't know how they ended up picking me, but I am so glad to be the representative," says LeBlanc.
The future for LeBlanc is pro hockey. Since he signed with Chicago after the trade deadline, he isn't eligible for the playoffs and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He'd like to return to the Windy City. In the meantime, one of his brothers put things in perspective.
"It was a pretty tough workout and at the end of it, he said 'is it weird that is your job now?' I was like, yeah that is kind of my job now and it will feel weird not going back to school in the fall, but go to camp in September and try to make that big club, I guess is the main goal," says LeBlanc.