BOSTON -- Since Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is out of the lineup with a fractured left forearm, fellow blue-liner Adam McQuaid will make his season debut Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
McQuaid, 24, has spent the majority of the last three seasons at the AHL level in Providence. He played a total of 19 games for Boston last season and proved he can play at the NHL level.
This season he’s been the team’s seventh defenseman and has watched games from the press box level.
Even though he hasn’t played a game this season, Bruins coach Claude Julien expects a solid performance from McQuaid.
“He hasn’t played a regular-season game yet, so it’s hard for me to stand here and throw all kinds of flowers at the guy,” Julien said. “If anything, he’s a player who has matured, and we liked what we saw from last year. When he was called upon, he was a good player for us. He plays safe and plays a solid, strong game. He’s very physical and he’s a tough individual. He’s got an opportunity now to play his first league game [this season] and I’m sure he’s ready.”
McQuaid said he's ready but admitted he’s a little nervous.
"I’m excited but I’m trying not to be over-excited,” he said. “I’m trying to be as relaxed as I can and play my game. It’s been a while, so I’m looking forward to it.”