American Hockey League

Beaudin reflects on memorable NHL debut

by Matt Tidcombe | AHL On The Beat

When you get the call for the first time, it doesn’t matter what hour it is, someone is getting a call immediately after.

For Belleville Senators forward J.C. Beaudin, that call went to his dad after he received news that he had been called up to the NHL for the first time.

“They were actually asleep,” Beaudin said of his parents. “I woke them up. My dad was still sleepy so it wasn’t a big conversation but we talked in the morning the next day and they flew to Dallas so I got to see them there.”

Beaudin had to wait an extra two days to make his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators — he was scratched after warmups after Artem Anisimov was deemed fit to play — but Beaudin’s moment came on Oct. 23 against Detroit.

The 22-year-old played 6:39 in his debut and helped the Sens claim a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings.

“I’ve dreamed about playing in the NHL my whole life,” Beaudin said. “It was a good moment for me and my family. I made sacrifices but they did too. I remember my sister having to sit at the rink and just watch me because my parents were all over the place. I was happy to live that with them.

“I had 17 people there so pretty much everyone in my entourage so that was pretty fun. I got to see them after the game and it was a memorable night.”

As for the game itself, Beaudin said he had a few jitters early on but settled into the NHL pace very quickly.

“I was focused. I knew I had a job to do. It’s fun to play in your first game but you want to stay there so you want to play as a good as possible. I think my first two shifts I was nervous. I just dumped the puck and tried not to have the puck on my tape a lot but after that I thought we played really well and we got the win so I was really happy.”

Since his debut, Beaudin has played another two games, playing a little over six minutes in each contest. Ottawa has gone 2-1 with Beaudin in the lineup.

Beaudin admits he was surprised at first when he got the call to head to Ottawa — “When it’s the first time you never expect it. It was a really good moment. I was really proud of myself” — but he’s now earned a second recall after spending a few days back in Belleville earlier this week.

“It probably means I did pretty good so I’ll just go back there, do the same thing, do my job, be intense, be physical, use my speed and hopefully help the team get some more wins,” Beaudin said.

“I want to prove to everyone that I belong there.”

Photo: Jason Scourse

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