TAMPA BAY – Wade Megan is expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Tampa Bay after being recalled from the Chicago Wolves because of Paul Stastny‘s upper-body injury.
Megan will likely begin the game with Scottie Upshall and Ryan Reaves, but Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said he could also see some time on the third line with Robby Fabbri and Dmitrij Jaskin based on his energy level in the first period.
“Our understanding is he’s played really well. He’s gotten great reports down there,” Hitchcock said. “Obviously he’s scoring like crazy. (He’s a) smart player, he was noticeable in training camp, he stayed right to the end. If you’re looking for a center, he’s the guy you choose because he’s dominating down there.”
Here’s what we know about Megan:
The 26-year-old center played his college hockey at Boston University and was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (No. 138 overall) at the 2009 NHL Draft. He has scored 47 goals and 31 assists in five seasons in the American Hockey League but ranks third on the Wolves’ roster this season with 24 points (13 goals and 11 assists).
Megan was a freshman at Boston University when Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was a junior, so those two know each other some.
“I just remember how smart of a player he was,” Shattenkirk said. “He may not be the fastest guy on the ice, but his head for the game is great. He finds ways to be in the right position at the right time, both defensively and offensively. He’s got a knack around the net, he’s really hard and strong on his stick and all those things add up to a good smart hockey player that we’re going to be lucky to have tonight.”
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Megan said after arriving at the team’s hotel on Thursday afternoon. “I’m at a loss for words, I’m just happy to be here, and I’m ready to get it going.”