What a week for Sabres rookie Hudson Fasching. The 20-year-old signed his entry-level contract with the Sabres on Monday which is a thrill in itself and on Saturday, he’s going to make his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets.
“I’m so excited,” Fasching said, per the Buffalo News. “I’m almost speechless. It’s a dream come true for me.
“I’m not trying to overthink it too much is my strategy going into it. 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.”
Fasching was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings back in 2014. He’s spent the last three seasons at the University of Minnesota where he picked up 20 goals and 38 points in 37 games in 2015-16.
He’s a good skater, but Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma knows making the leap from the NCAA to the NHL won’t be easy. Fasching is expected to play on the right side of a line with David Legwand and 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 will also be making his NHL debut on Saturday. The defenseman signed with the Sabres earlier this week after spending the last three seasons at Minnesota State University. He’s expected to be paired with Mark Pysyk.
“Against some long odds, against some difficult situations he has carved out his game, has carved out his ability,” Bylsma said. “He’s gone from being a walk-on to a huge part of a team to one of the most sought-after free agents. He’s done that through hard work. He’s done that through development of his game.”