Two hometown boys have hockey fans from across Windsor and Essex County very excited.

Belle River's Aaron Ekblad was drafted to the Florida Panthers and Windsor's Hunter Smith to the Calgary Flames at the 2014 NHL Draft.

Anticipation was high for the six-foot-three 216-pound defenceman from Belle Rriver.

Just making the NHL is a dream come true, but to be picked first overall is an even bigger thrill.

"It was a nerve racking experience, but when i heard my name called it was the biggest relief of my life," says Ekblad.

"I remember looking at my hand and I was shaking," he adds.

Ekblad, a Barrie Colt, says he's ready to play for the Panthers this fall.

"I wouldn't be here, a person or a player without the countless hours of people that kept me on track and helped me focus," he says.

People like Andy Paquette who has been training Ekblad for almost a decade.

"A couple of weeks ago he was saying, 'I just want to go to Florida so bad,' he wanted to get away from the cold weather like every 18 year old does," says Paquette.

Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames drafted Windsor's Hunter Smith 54th overall.

Oshawa Generals teammate Joe Manchuric says Smith earned that pick.

"He was a big enforcer who played an important role on the team," says Manchuric.

In 2012, assistant coach of the Windsor Spitfires, Bob Jones, watched Smith leave his hometown team in a trade with the Generals.

"We're always happy to see a local kid get drafted, especially to the NHL. I know the Flames took him in the second round and we couldn't be more happy for hunter and his family," says Jones.