Admittedly, he's try not to think about. Admittedly, it's pretty tough not to.
Bronco F Justin Dowling has passed over last year at the NHL draft in Montreal but there's renewed interest after a strong season and he appears to be the best bet for a Bronco to be taken this weekend.
"Last year is kind of a kick to the stomach when I didn't get drafted. It's definitely in the back of my mind and that's where I'm trying to keep it. I'm just trying to stay in shape and get ready for camp. If I do get drafted it's just a bonus."
If Dowling is drafted, it's likely the end of his junior days as an NHL/AHL contract in these situations is the usual path.
"If I get drafted and everything works out then hopefully I'll be playing in the AHL or the farm system somewhere. If not, I'd love to come back. I love being a Bronco and love the support there. If I do come back then I'm looking forward to another good year."
Dowling says he's been putting in his time in the gym trying to improve his overall strength. He also thinks he needs to get quicker - particularly in his first three strides. He says that's been a focus of his gym time.
The Cochrane, AB native scored 32 goals and added 46 assists for 78 points last season. Dowling has proven to be durable as well. He played in all 72 games last season.
Dowling along with Bronco forwards Taylor Vause and Stepan Novotny appear to be on the NHL Draft radar.
The draft is set for Los Angeles with the first round live on TSN Friday night. Rounds two through seven can be seen on the NHL Network.