BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -The journey started together for Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian back in 2014 when the two joined the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey league. In three years of playing mostly on the same line the two combined for 112 goals and 296 total points
“Being a similar age we got the chance to kind of learn from each other and build off each other for a few years in a row,” said Binghamton Devils forward Nathan Bastian.
“We hung out off the ice and we pretty much stuck together most of the year,” said Binghamton Devils forward Michael McLeod.
After juniors, the two had their eyes set on the NHL draft but in the months leading up to the big day there was one thing Bastian though Mcleod was missing, a twitter account
“Well he didn’t have one and I told him he needed one so he was going to be verified soon so I had to make sure I took action there and got him a twitter account,” said Bastian.
Bastian can still get his hands on the account if necessary.
“Well I know the password but he handles it mostly,” said Bastian.
McLeod had been projected to be a high first round pick in that draft and on June 24th 2016, he was selected 12th overall by the New Jersey Devils.
“You see that you are ranked somewhere in the top half of the first round and you actually go there, it doesn’t actually click in until you get picked and it was awesome,” said McLeod.
“I was excited to see them go and at the same time hoping my name would be called soon and he gave me a hint after day one and said the Jersey guy said if I am still around I might be going there,” said Bastian.
On day two of the draft the Devils selected Bastian with the 41st overall pick.
“It was crazy when they actually picked him, it was pretty funny, I couldn’t really believe it, it was kind of best case scenario,” said McLeod.
Now the two get to go through the crazy ride of professional sports by each others side.
“Coming into a new environment, in development camps and mini camps it is pretty nerve wracking and being able to do it with a buddy makes everything a lot smoother,” said Bastian.
“It just makes everything so much easier, he makes everything fun, funny and he likes to joke around but also takes everything very seriously,” said McLeod.
For their next career stepping stone, the two would love to play on the same line in the NHL.
“That is the main goal right now to get back up and tune your game out,” said McLeod.
“That is the dream obviously to get to go play in the NHL and just like playing here together it would be even cooler to make the jump together,” said Bastian.