May 8, 2013, 9:49 AM EST
The Chicago Steel announced that they have taken Jack Jablonski with the last selection of the 2013-2014 USHL draft.
Jablonski suffered spinal cord damage during a hockey game on Dec. 30, 2011, but his efforts to recover have been an inspiration to many, including running back Adrian Peterson.
“To have the condition he’s had and to be able to overcome it, slowly, but overcome it, it takes willpower,” Peterson said.
Jablonski has been told that he won’t be able to walk again, but he remains optimistic and has made progress in his rehabilitation.
“I can’t improve if I don’t try,” Jablonski said. “What if something amazing happens today?”
He has continued to stay involved in hockey by serving as a student-assistant coach. He hopes to eventually become either a coach or broadcast, although he’s also determined to play hockey again.
He tweeted that getting drafted made Monday his “best night ever.”
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