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June 26, 2009

Matt Duchene


Q. Thoughts of being picked by a team you were a big fan of.
MATT DUCHENE: Yeah, every kid of dreams of playing for his boyhood team. It has not sunk in yet. I keep looking down at the logo going are you kidding me, I used to draw this every day at school. This is unbelievable.

Q. Did you have any indication you would go there?
MATT DUCHENE: I wasn't sure. Everybody was saying that the Top 3 were pretty solidified, so I had kind of an idea, but you never know, and yeah, I'm one of those people that never believes anything until they hear it.
Yeah, I was still thinking that it may not happen, and when I heard my name, I was just so happy.

Q. Do you feel it's even more special going to a team you grew up idolizing?
MATT DUCHENE: It's like a storybook. My two favorite teams, I come to the one city and get drafted by the other one. It could not have turned out much better.

Q. Realistically do you think you'll be ready to play next year?
MATT DUCHENE: I think my skill set is definitely ready. We'll see what happens. Obviously it's tough as an 18-year-old to go in and start playing with men, and we'll see how well I handle that. Obviously it's something I can't say I'm ready for yet because I haven't been there.
Whatever Colorado decides for me, I've got a great team back in junior to play for if that's the case, and I'll be happy either way.

Q. Will you call Joe Sakic and ask him not to retire?
MATT DUCHENE: If I had his number, I would. No, he's been my idol my whole life, and I got an autographed jersey of him in my basement. A guy I always looked up to and tried to model my game after and my personality after. He's everything any kid dreams of being.

Q. Now that the pick has been made, have you checked out the history?
MATT DUCHENE: Not really. I checked in every now and then on each team's Web site just to see what was going on and what the fans were saying. I tried to keep an open mind because you never know what's going to happen. Now that it's happened, it's unbelievable.

Q. How about the feeling of being drafted number three overall?
MATT DUCHENE: Yeah, it's the beginning of the beginning and the end at the same time. Every kid dreams of being drafted to the NHL and to be able to go third overall, so many great players have gone at that position, and this is just -- I can't even describe it.

Q. What was it like when you talked to your parents, what did you say to them?
MATT DUCHENE: Just, "we did it, we did it." I went through a lot of stuff growing up, a lot of people trying to hold me back. I always played up, up in age group and people were always trying to make me play my own age group, and my dad fought hard for me to get that. It was key to my development.
My dad put in an hour and 15 minutes of driving every home game. Away games it would be two hours sometimes. Yeah, I have worked really hard but so has my family, so it's great to see it pay off for them as well.

Q. Rumor has had it that you might have gone first today. Did that come to your ears?
MATT DUCHENE: Yeah, definitely. I had no idea until I saw Johnny go. I had no idea. I was sitting there, going, well, this could be it right here and same with Tampa, no one knew. No one knew. My agent tried to get to show his cards and he's got the best poker face ever, so he held everything pretty close to the chest and didn't tell anybody.

Q. Did you talk to other guys at all?
MATT DUCHENE: Prior? I roomed with Johnny, so he and I know each other pretty well know and we were together at the combine. I'm so happy for him. The kid deserves it and he's been through so much. He deserves it a lot and same with Victor. Victor is an unbelievable player and he deserves that as well. They are both great guys and I'm really happy for both of them.

Q. Any twinge of disappointment that you didn't hear anything --
MATT DUCHENE: I guess a little bit. Not really. It was something that I had never really came across my mind until the last few months.
Obviously my goal is to be mentioned in for that pick, and I achieved that goal, and after that, I didn't really care. So this is -- yeah, where I ended up is unbelievable.

Q. Would you be okay with another year in junior?
MATT DUCHENE: I would be okay with another engineer in junior but I'm going to try to make the team and I really want to. A lot of my favorite players have played at 18, and it's almost a standard I've set for myself. If I don't, it's not a big deal. And if not, like I said I have a great team in Brampton to go to. But I definitely want to make it next year.

Q. Did you mention you grew up as a Colorado fan?
MATT DUCHENE: Yeah, it was funny, after they won the Cup, I was just like, wow, this team is unbelievable and Patrick Roy became my idol, I was almost a goalie I liked him so much and then Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, those guys were my favorite players. It's unbelievable.

Q. So many other teams you could have gone to, is it fate how it worked out?
MATT DUCHENE: It's crazy. They have not had a top year and the one year I'm available and rated up there, they have it. Yeah, it's kind of like fate I guess.

Q. Summer plans?
MATT DUCHENE: I have a great trainer back home and I'll continue to work with her I'm thinking, unless Colorado has other plans for me. She's helped me develop into the player that I am and I would like to keep working with her. Her name is Laurie Kah. She's been awesome, and yeah, I'm looking forward to going back. I got that goal in mind now making that club, and that's going to drive me all summer.

Q. Inaudible.
MATT DUCHENE: I know nothing. I've been a part of the team for five minutes. We'll see what happens. That would be unbelievable though.

Q. Inaudible.
MATT DUCHENE: Bernie Nichols, he's one of a few guys to score 70 goals, he's from a little town, still Halliburton. Stackhouse is from there and Glen Sharpley are not from there but they live there and my buddy, Cody Sonner (ph), we are in the same decision and we go from teammates to maybe rivals and we'll see how that goes.

Q. Inaudible.
MATT DUCHENE: Obviously he's a guy who has done very well, high draft pick and played for Brampton. I imagine I'll lean on him as much as I can. He's been through a lot of the same things as me, same systems same coach, same place to live, same place to play. Yeah, it's going to be very cool.

Q. A lot that goes into being a top pick, obviously the Islanders are betting very heavily on John Tavares. How do you feel with Colorado, you may or may not play there, you by be back in Brampton, do you finds it a little bit different not so much pressure at 3 than at 1?
MATT DUCHENE: Oh, yeah, there's definitely not as much pressure. Obviously it's tough. Johnny has been prepared for the pressure, he's had the pressure for years and he's come through it.
He's the perfect guy to handle that situation. The fans knew what they wanted and rightfully so. So yeah, you know what, it was always a goal of mine to be that No. 1 pick, but I realize as it got closer, the goal of being considered as that pick was much more valuable.

Q. Were you surprised that it went 1, 2, 3?
MATT DUCHENE: Some. What I had heard a lot of trade rumors. It was interesting. It was really interesting to see. It was just like, what's with all the drama after all that.
You know what, though, Mr. Snow did a great job in keeping his cards close to his chest and making it so dramatic. I don't know, this is the best draft in terms of drama that I've ever seen and probably a lot of other people have ever seen. It's crazy. It's unbelievable to be a part of.

Q. I noticed that your tie matches the burgundy in Colorado. Did you have a feeling to get dressed like that?
MATT DUCHENE: Not at all. I went for red. Red is my favorite color, so I tried to get into a nice, red tie for the draft. It's coincidence.

Q. Did you look at the Rocket banner tonight?
MATT DUCHENE: I looked up and Patrick Roy was right above the stage, too. Both of those are really cool.

Q. You said you had been to Denver on a visit --
MATT DUCHENE: No, I didn't go to Denver. Rick Placey (ph) and one of the other scouts came out to my house, and that was our communication with them.

Q. How do you explain your obsession with sticks?
MATT DUCHENE: You know what, if I wasn't a hockey player, I would be a product or graphic designer. So that's just something I've always been interested in. I was just telling some of the other guys here that when I was younger, when I was really little, Avalanche was my favorite team and I always used to draw this logo in class or just draw it, drew it. I don't know why. I had a fascination with it. It's just because I like how they look so much. I guess I pay attention to it and I think it's an asset for guys, like different guys use different curves and almost dictates the way they play. I guess that's why.

End of FastScripts

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