Growing up in Mississauga, Sean Durzi dreamed of someday playing for the Maple Leafs. Well, dreams do come true! The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted the 19-year-old defenceman with their second selection, 52nd overall, at the 2018 draft this month.
The dream did come true for Durzi, although after a little hiccup. While playing for Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack, the Mississauga native was passed over in all seven rounds of the NHL 2017 draft.
The 2017 defeat was a big disappointment for Durzi. But, instead of growing a chip on his shoulders, he doubled down in his determination to join the NFL. He attended a couple of pro camps last summer, including Toronto’s, focusing on his craft in the off-season before returning to the Owen Sound Attack.
Durzi’s efforts paid off. He is now proudly wearing the Leafs jersey. After the news came down about his draft by the Toronto team, he tweeted out a childhood picture of his father and two younger brothers wearing Leafs jerseys.
“You look back at it now, it was probably one of the biggest points of my career,” Durzi said of his 2017 setback. “It really pushed me.”
A year ago today I sat through 7 rounds of the NHL draft waiting for my name to be called and left hanging… today, I’m officially apart of the @MapleLeafs . Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your dreams. #LeafsNation
Durzi graduated in 2016 from St. Francis Xavier Secondary School a Catholic high school in Mississauga. The school has an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program and Specialist High Skills Major programs for Hospitality, Health & Wellness, and Sports.
Durzi joins a few other St. Francis alumni who’ve become sports notables: Hamilton Tiger-Cats player, Maurice Forbes and former player, Robert Pavlovic; Canadian women’s national soccer team members Robyn Gayle and Carmelina Moscato; B.C. Lions player Chris Greaves, Toronto Argonauts’ D.J. Sackey, and Candian Welterweight boxer, D.J. Sackey.
Xavier Athletics posted this on its Facebook after Durzi was picked by the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Congrats to Xavier alumnus and athletic letter recipient Sean Durzi who was today selected in the second round of the NHL drafted, 52 overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs.