Brandon Tabakin knows the feeling. He’s been doubted before and he’ll constantly have to prove himself due to his lack of size.
Tabakin always has been up for the challenge. The defenseman helped grow an up-and-coming North Jersey Avalanche program before heading to the Midwest for this season to play for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United States Hockey League.
Due to his size and lack of production compared to what it would have been in Midget hockey, he’s been an afterthought in most observers’ minds when it comes to June’s NHL Entry Draft.
"It motivates me. It’s just people’s opinions. I just try to believe in myself, know the player I am and what I bring. I’m just as good as anybody and work on getting better on a weekly basis," said Tabakin, a native of Woodbury, N.Y.