BOSTON (CBS) — Charlie McAvoy may not have expected to be in the NHL less than a month after leaving Boston University, but the Boston Bruins’ top prospect is taking everything in stride.
McAvoy practiced with the NHL club for the first time on Monday at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, after spending less than two weeks with the Providence Bruins in the AHL on an Amateur Tryout Offer. McAvoy’s call-up may have been unexpected and done out of necessity due to injuries on the Bruins defense, but the 2016 first-round pick appears unfazed by the pressures of making the jump to the NHL.
When addressing reporters after practice, McAvoy explained how he was able to stay patient during his time in the AHL and remain confident that he can contribute at the highest level.
“My feeling [in Providence] was ‘A day at a time,’ so I’m not necessarily holding my breath waiting for anything to happen,” said McAvoy. “I was just focusing on where I was, and at the time that was in Providence. I was trying to get better every day down there and be a part of that group, 100 percent invested, and I was.
“It was a good few weeks there. Now I’m here and I’m ready for the next step.”
McAvoy also said that, like any young player might feel, he’s both excited and nervous about actually playing with NHL pros, some of which he grew up watching on TV.
“Yes, definitely, a little bit of both,” he said. “I think I got some of the nerves out today in practice. Being out on the ice with so many guys who I’ve looked up to my whole life, it’s really special.”
The 19-year-old McAvoy is expected to make his NHL debut on Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the Boston Bruins’ Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup. He practiced on Monday on a defensive pairing with John-Michael Liles, who appears to be his likely partner to start the game.