A whirlwind week that will end with a spot in the Sabres’ lineup has left Hudson Fasching speechless.
The 20-year-old, signed to a three-year contract Monday, will make his NHL debut Saturday when the Winnipeg Jets visit First Niagara Center. Coach Dan Bylsma floored the rookie with the news after practice, and Fasching still couldn’t believe it minutes later.
“I’m so excited,” he said anxiously as he tried to catch the emotions running through him. “I’m almost speechless. It’s a dream come true for me.”
Bylsma started the conversation by asking Fasching if the team needed to get his parents to Buffalo. After Fasching said yes, Bylsma said that was good because the right winger was playing.
“I just zoned out,” Fasching said. “It was cool. I’m excited. I didn’t know what to say.”
The Minnesota native expects his mother, father and girlfriend to make the journey. They’ll see him play alongside center David Legwand and left wing Matt Moulson.
“There’s a possibility he’ll get some shifts in other spots,” Bylsma said. “I think the big thing to see will be an adjustment to the pace and the speed. He’s a good skater, but I think the pace is going to be an adjustment for him.”
Casey Nelson, another player signed out of college this week, will also make his debut. He’ll play in a defense pairing with Mark Pysyk.
Fasching will become the fourth player to wear No. 52 for the Sabres, joining Alexander Sulzer, Craig Rivet and Dave Andreychuk.
“I’m not trying to overthink it too much is my strategy going into it,” Fasching said. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid, just to play in the NHL. I put a lot of hard work in. My family and I have sacrificed a lot to get here, so it means the world to me.”