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Terik Parascak ready to hear name called at NHL draft


Prince George Cougars

Off the heels of a tremendous rookie season in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Terik Parascak shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. When they lower the lights on June 29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas, NV, Cougars fans could hear their favourite NHL team call Parascak’s name before they head to bed.

Although he is projected on many draft lists to be a first-round selection, Parascak says he will be just fine wherever his name is called. “I guess when you look at kind of where I came from, at the start of the year, this was not really something I saw in the cards for my summer plans,” Parascak chuckled. “I was just thinking of going down to Las Vegas and hoping to be a potential pick and have that opportunity. Wherever I go, it’s going to be unbelievable, and that’s when the work starts.”

Parascak appeared in all 68 games with the Cougars this season, completing the year with the best rookie campaign in Prince George Cougars history. In those 68 games, he scored 43 goals and accumulated 62 assists (43-62-105). Those 105 points from the Lethbridge, AB product led all WHL rookie skaters. Additionally, Parascak was +49 this season, leading all WHL rookies and ranking 4th in the WHL. Parascak has not only impressed fans in Prince George with his first-round caliber skill set but also the entire Canadian Hockey League (CHL). He was named to the CHL’s All-Rookie team as well as the CHL/NHL Kubota Top Prospects Game back in January in Moncton, NB. After an incredibly successful year, Parascak is eager to get to Vegas for a big weekend, “There is tons of excitement and build-up to this moment. It’s pretty surreal that it’s so close.

Parascak attended the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, where he earned the opportunity to chat with 28 different NHL teams. “It was a long week for sure, but it was super exciting,” commented Parascak. “It’s such a cool opportunity to be able to speak to all the different GMs and scouts, and just so surreal, to be honest.”

Out of the 28 teams Parascak spoke with, the NHL clubs all had fairly different approaches when speaking with him. “You don’t really know what to expect or how they are going to approach it,” he said. “Some teams were very serious, and some were chill and laid back. It’s just their way of trying to get to know you. Sometimes you come out of the meetings wondering what they’re thinking; you never really know,” Parascak chuckled.

All prospects who attend the combine say they always get a unique question here and there, and Parascak was no exception. “Yeah, I got asked what my Uber rating was. I don’t have an Uber rating and don’t really have Uber where I’m from, so that was a bit of a different one,” Parascak said. “I think the most unique question was if I was in the army, would I be a sniper, medic, or helicopter pilot. I said sniper,” Parascak said with a smile.

A unique part of the NHL Draft journey for the Lethbridge, AB product is that he is with his linemate and teammate Ondrej Becher, who was just one of two 19-year-old skaters invited to the combine. The Cougars’ duo were roommates at the Combine. “I was super grateful to have him there. It was nice to have him, and I think it made it pretty comfortable for both of us. We got to talk a little bit about how teams were, if they were serious or laid-back, and again just great to have a teammate and friend to go through the whole process with. I’m pretty sure he had an impressive week and did really well on some of the fitness testing.”

Parascak and his family will be arriving in Sin City a little bit early prior to the draft to enjoy the whole experience. “Tons of family are coming with me. All of my immediate family, including my Mom, Dad, sister, and grandparents. My billet mom is coming, as well as tons of my extended family. I think it’s safe to say it’s a good excuse for them to go to Vegas, and I’m sure they love that side of it. I’m definitely very appreciative of everyone for all of their support.”

TSN’s Craig Button has kept tabs on Parascak throughout the season and finished the season ranking him 13th in his personal draft rankings.

“He is always looking for opportunities,” he said. “He can strike quickly, he’s smart, he’s aware, and he sees what’s unfolding around him.”

Closer to Prince George, General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb says he isn’t surprised at the attention Parascak earned this season, “His skill set, it all comes between his ears; he’s got a high hockey IQ. He’s got a real deceptive shot, he can make a play, he goes into traffic. He does a lot of really good things.”

Tune in on Friday, June 28th for first-round coverage of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft to see where Parascak will land. Rounds 2-7 will commence on Saturday, June 29.


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