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 2008 NYSHSHCA "News on the Surface"

 

Sharks draft Suffern's Daniels twins

By Jeff Gold The Journal News June 22, 2008

 
Former Suffern players Drew Daniels (left) and Justin Daniels (right).

 

At some point, identical twins Justin and Drew Daniels probably will have to separate.

But it's beginning to look like that might not happen for a really, really long time.

The 19-year-old brothers from Suffern who played last season at the Kent School in Connecticut were each drafted by the San Jose Sharks in yesterday's NHL draft, keeping their hockey futures intertwined for the foreseeable future.

Justin Daniels was selected first. The Sharks chose him with the first pick of the third round, which was 62nd overall.

The Sharks didn't even have a pick in the first two rounds, making Justin their highest selection in this weekend's draft. San Jose traded its fourth- and fifth-round picks this year and its third-round pick in 2009 to Tampa Bay to select Justin.

"I didn't even know if I would get drafted at all," said Justin, a center. "Maybe the sixth or seventh round, but I wasn't thinking the third. I was just hoping for the best."

Two hours later, the news got even better. Drew Daniels, a right wing, was taken by San Jose in the seventh round, 194th overall.

"Growing up, you just dream of being drafted, to get a chance to play at that type of level," Drew said. "But I never thought we would get drafted by the same team."

Between twins, the Sharks also drafted five other players not named Daniels.

"It's surreal," Justin said. "It's pretty storybook how it worked out. We gave each other a huge hug, and we're proud of each other."

The brothers will head to San Jose together on July 14 to participate in a camp for all the Sharks' draft picks.

The Danielses starred at Suffern, playing on Section 1's perennial power from eighth grade through their junior season. In 2006, they led Suffern to the sectional championship and were named The Journal News' co-hockey players of the year for Rockland County. That season, Justin led the section in scoring with 91 points and Drew was second with 90.

Intent on earning a college scholarship, they chose to play in a more competitive environment, leaving Suffern to enroll at Kent, whose hockey program plays in the New England Prep School Founders League.

"As tough as it was to lose two incredible players, it was the right decision for them to leave," Suffern coach Rob Schelling said. "They were dominant and needed to play at another level."

The Danielses continued to excel in their two years at Kent. This season, Justin had 54 points in 25 games and Drew had 47, earning both scholarships to Northeastern University.

But first, in the fall, they are headed for the Sioux City Musketeers - yes, they were "coincidentally" drafted by the same team, a Tier 1 team in the United States Hockey League. They're planning on living together with a host family in Iowa.

The following year they will go to Northeastern, and if things go well, San Jose a few years later, where they hope they can continue their time as teammates.

Justin said the twins, who also have a 9-year-old brother, Troy, and a 6-year-old sister, Stefani, have never been to San Jose.

"We've been pretty fortunate," Drew said. "It just seems like it always has a way of working out."

Reach Jeff Gold at jgold@lohud.com.

 

 

 

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Updated- Monday, June 23, 2008