The closest Andrew Mangiapane has ever come to representing his country was when he got a Team Canada jersey for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The name stitched on the back was Crosby, and the tiny winger trying to fill it out was just 14.
The unlikely path he took from there, from OHL walk-on to being overlooked in his first of two NHL drafts, all led to a phone call from Team Canada assistant GM Shane Doan earlier this week with an invite to don the maple leaf at the upcoming 2021 IIHF World Championship.
“I never dreamed of it,” said the soft-spoken Flames winger.
“I mean, you dream of it all the time, but it was so surreal to be called. It was great to hear from him. It’s an honour. It’s an honour to get the call and I was just filled with joy.”
Asked if there was any point in his career he wondered if he was even being considered for a national camp invite, the 25-year-old Flames sixth rounder shrugged.