BOSTON (CBS) — Thursday night’s game in Buffalo may be just another night on the schedule for most of the Bruins roster, but for Marshfield native David Warsofsky, it represents the biggest day in his hockey life.
Warsofsky, 23, will make his NHL debut for the black and gold on Tuesday, after he was recalled from Providence when Kevan Miller was sent back down to the AHL. The undersized defenseman has endured a long journey to get to this point, including 160 AHL games after he left Boston University to turn pro.
He’ll wear jersey No. 79, which has never before been worn in the near-90-year history of the Boston Bruins, according to Hockey Reference.
In 26 games with AHL Providence this season, Warsofsky has two goals and 14 assists. His plus-10 rating is tied for the best on the team.
The call-up comes as the result of an unusual circumstance. The Bruins liked the way Miller was playing, but they had to send him back to the AHL before he played his 10th game, so that a future move would not require the Bruins to place the player on waivers.
Still, Warsofsky has earned his call, and he’s set to make his NHL debut five years after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft by the St. Louis Blues. He won a national championship with BU in 2009, and his rights were traded to Boston for Vladimir Sobotka in 2010. In his first full season in the AHL the following year, he led Providence defensemen with 29 points.
At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Warsofsky is likely to be the smallest player on the ice for most of his shifts. Yet as Torey Krug (5-foot-9, 181 pounds) proved in the playoffs last year and through the first part of this season, size — or lack thereof — isn’t necessarily a detriment on the Boston blue line.
“Like anything else in life, when you want something so bad and it doesn’t come right away, it can be difficult at times,” Warsofsky told The Patriot-Ledger’s Mike Loftus. “But in the end, the reward is definitely worth it.”
That reward will come shortly after 7 p.m. at the First Niagara Center, when Warsofsky hops over the boards in an NHL game for the first time.