In every sport, there is one day that is both filled with anticipation and dread – Draft Day. This is the day that players hope that the major league teams will feel that they are good enough to join their organization.
For the NHL, the 1999 Entry Draft was held in the FleetCenter, home of the Boston Bruins. Otters Tim Connolly, Sean Dixon, Ryan Lee, Jason Baird and J.F. Perras were hoping that their names would be called at the Draft. There was no question that Connolly would be drafted, as he was slated to go high in the First Round. After that though, it was anybody’s guess when and where in the Draft the other Otters would go.
From Waterloo, Ontario, Sean Dixon is a second year defenseman for the Otters. While not an offensive defenseman, he has been a steady player on the blueline. In the two years with Erie, Sean has only scored 2 goals and 20 assists in 113 games. In spite of his lack of scoring, Sean’s play has been noticed. Twice he has played for the Ontario Under-17 Team at the 1997 and 1998 International Hockey Championships, held during the Christmas holidays in Kitchener, Ontario, where Team Ontario won gold medals. Dixon has also excelled off the ice, winning the 1997-98 Otters Scholastic Player of the Year, sharing it with fellow draftee, Tim Connolly.
Draft Day was a pretty exciting day for Sean, as it did live up to expectations. “Just to sit in the stands and stare down at all the NHL logos and personnel, and to know that you are a part of it, is a pretty amazing feeling in itself,” stated Dixon.
Well, fortunately or unfortunately, Sean had a long time to enjoy the feeling. The CSB had ranked Dixon to go in the second round, but it wasn’t until the Montreal Canadiens’ used their sixth round selection (167th pick overall) to select Dixon. Both the Otters and Dixon feel that injuries to Dixon during the 98-99 season dropped Sean from the 2nd to the 6th round. Sean had suffered a concussion during the regular season and then suffered a broken collarbone that kept him out of the OHL playoffs.
The long wait didn’t seem to dampen Sean’s excitement about being drafted and being drafted by the Canadiens’, one of the most honored franchises in the NHL, one of the original six. Dixon had felt that “it would be an honour to be selected by any NHL team. However, it is hard not to say that being picked by one of the original six team, makes it a little more special and exciting”. Being picked by the Canadiens’, Dixon follows in the steps of Erie’s first NHL draftee, Jason Ward, who was selected in the 1997 Entry Draft by Montreal.
Being drafted is a big step in getting to the Show, but it will take a lot of hard work and determination for Dixon to get into the Canadiens’ jersey. For those who know Sean, they know that he will put forth the effort needed to get into that jersey.