Wednesday is the day for defenseman Nicolas Beaudin. The 20-year-old will be making his NHL debut, along with forward Brandon Hagel, against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.
"Really excited," Beaudin said. "It's been awesome since Mark Bernard (Chicago's Vice President of Hockey Operations) called me yesterday. It's a dream come true just coming here and I'm going to enjoy it tonight."
Beaudin, who was selected at No. 27 overall in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Tuesday where he has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 59 games in his first season as a pro.
"I think I just want to make some plays," he said of his game. "I want to show that I can make some plays, but I'm good in my zone too. I think I've improved a lot in Rockford this season and I want to still improve lots of things, but like I said I want to make some plays out there."
With the time Beaudin has had to develop in the AHL and with the Hawks slated to most likely miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year, the timing is right for the blueliner.
"I wasn't expecting nothing," Beaudin said. "When I got to Rockford this year I just wanted to grow my game and lately in the last month I've been playing some good hockey down there. But you never know what's going to happen. You just play your game and take it day by day, and when I got the call I was excited for sure."
The Châteauguay, Canada native spent the previous four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he recorded 167 points (24 goals, 143 assists) in 211 games for the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Beaudin is feeling the first-timer butterflies, but can't wait to step on the big league ice for the first time.
"I'm not really stressed in life, but I think it's coming right now today to me," he said. "I've got family members coming. It's gonna be fun. Like I said it's a dream come true.
"I've been here for two training camps, so I'm familiar with lots of face(s). I'm familiar with Carly (Lucas Carlsson). I hope he's going to help me a lot tonight. Yeah, it's a dream come true. I'll be a little bit stressed but I think it's going to be a good stress for me."
Beaudin and Hagel will mark seven players on the Blackhawks to make their NHL debut this season, joining Carlsson, Adam Boqvist, Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik and Anton Wedin.
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