Travis Boyd will finally make his NHL debut Monday night vs. the Sharks after awaiting his turn for two-plus seasons.
For the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Boyd, who was recalled Sunday, it’ll mark the realization of a childhood dream when he lines up against San Jose.
For the Caps, it’ll be their first chance to see how close the 2011 sixth-round pick is to being a full-time NHL player.
“We want to see what his resume looks like at the National Hockey League level before you can say, ‘Hey, we can put him or there,’” Coach Barry Trotz said of Boyd. “We’ve got to see what the resume looks like on a first-see basis, and see if he can build a little bit of a resume so that we can do certain things.”
Based on morning skate rushes, Boyd will play on the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly. Boyd is replacing Chandler Stephenson, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury that he suffered Saturday. (Boyd getting a shot also means that Tyler Graovac will miss a second straight game as a healthy scratch.)
Boyd’s challenge on this recall will be twofold: he’s a right-shot who is shifting from first line center (with the Bears) to third line left wing against the Sharks and he’s probably not going to get much time to show what he’s got. Stephenson figures to be back “fairly soon” according to Trotz, and Andre Burakosky, who has missed 18 games, is also nearing his return.
So, yeah, no pressure kid.
“Travis is going to play a little bit out of position today but…he’s been their best player for two-plus years down there,” Trotz said. “I think he deserves a shot to come up and play. I also think it also gives us a better feel for what we have down in Hershey.”
As for switching from center to wing, Trotz said he suspects 24-year-old Minnesotan will figure it out.
“He’s a good hockey player; he’ll adjust,” Trotz said. “Obviously some of the wall plays and stuff that he doesn’t get he doesn’t get at the center position will be a little bit foreign to him. …His skill level will have to dictate how well he can do there.”
Boyd said his parents, brother, girlfriend, daughter and other family members will be in attendance at Capital One Arena, where he’ll become the fourth player to make his NHL debut for Washington this season, joining Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Nathan Walker.