Less than two weeks after graduating high school, Class of 2017 graduate, Ivan Lodnia has been drafted by the Minnesota Wild!
The 2017 NHL draft was held at the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks. Ivan and his family spent last weekend in the Windy City. Going into the draft, Ivan was ranked 37th among North American skaters and it was anticipated he would go sometime in the second or third round. Ivan spent the last two seasons playing right wing for 2017 OHL Champions, the Erie Otters. The Otters were the number one overall seed going into the 2017 playoffs, and defeated the Sarnia Sting, London Knights, Owen Sound Attack and Mississauga Steelheads to claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
Ivan enrolled in PA Virtual during his junior year, but has been cyber schooled since 8th grade. The flexible schedule allowed Ivan to balance school and classes, between the Otters practices, road games, and a hectic playoff schedule.
Earlier this school year, Ivan was able to attend the annual NHL Scouting Combine that was held in Buffalo, NY with over 100 other NHL hopefuls. The combine took place from May 28 – June 3, when students in a traditional brick and mortar setting might be sitting in a classroom for a final exam.
“No matter what city I’m in, if I’m playing hockey, I’m doing what I love,” said Ivan, who over the weekend also expressed his excitement to be heading to Minnesota.
Ivan worked closely with his guidance counselor, Ms. Lombardo during his senior year. PA Virtual counselors are focused on helping students figure out what is best for them after graduation and take the right steps to get there. For Ivan, that dream was always the NHL, but he knew he had to finish high school first. Ms. Lombardo helped Ivan’s teachers manage his hectic schedule. Knowing he may be working from a hotel, bus, or airport waiting room, it wasn’t uncommon for teachers to receive emails from Ivan during the wee hours of the morning. The cyber model allowed him to watch recorded versions of live classes at any time, and complete assignments on the go, as long as he had his laptop and an internet connection.
The entire PA Virtual family would like to congratulate Ivan on this amazing accomplishment and will be cheering for him every step of the way!