While announcing the choice of Ozzy Wiesblatt with the 31st overall pick, Sharks director of amateur scouting Doug Wilson Jr. first used sign language before saying his name.
The reason: Wiesblatt’s mother, Kim White, is deaf. She has five children and they communicate with her through sign language.
She signed back to the screen as the family celebrated Wiesblatt’s selection.
“That means a ton, especially to my mom and just the deaf community in general,” Wiesblatt told reporters. “It’s a very nice gesture for him to do and my mom will never forget that.”
He plays for the Prince Albert Raiders and helped the team win the Western Hockey League championship in 2018-19. This season, he finished second on the team with 70 points in 64 games.
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Three of his brothers, Ocean, Orca and Oasiz, also play hockey.
It was one of several nice touches during the all-virtual draft.
Former Winnipeg Jets star Dale Hawerchuk’s widow, Crystal, announced that team’s pick. The Philadelphia Flyers paid tribute to late scout Jack McIlhargey and “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced the Ottawa Senators‘ first pick.
The Sharks gave up the No. 3 pick in the draft when they acquired Erik Karlsson from the Senators in 2018. But they got back into the first round when they dealt Barclay Goodrow to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline.
It ended up being the round’s final pick after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL draft: Sharks exec uses sign language during Ozzy Wiesblatt pick