Nick Deslauriers, originally selected by Los Angeles in the third round (840th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, certainly spent plenty of time talking with us during his years as a Kings prospect. Last spring came a trade to Buffalo that caught many people off guard. In fact, it was only a few months after we were talking about him being moved to left wing that he was shipped off to the Sabres, in a package of players for Brayden McNabb.
Following his official Staples Center debut on Thursday night, he once again made sure to check in for a quick chat before heading to the team bus. Here are some highlights from that discussion…
Were you nervous coming into the game?
“I thought I would have been a little bit more nervous, but I felt good. After being in the lineup since the beginning of the season, the stress wasn’t there. I had a little hop in my skates and I was just ready to go. I wasn’t more nervous though than any other game this year.”
Is it safe to assume you weren’t expecting to be traded?
“No, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I had a great time in Manch and with L.A. Everything has been smooth though and [the Sabres] organization has been awesome to me. They gave me my chance and I’ve tried to capitalize on it.”
Prior to the game, Andy Andreoff said you’re the better chirpper of the two…
“Maybe. It just feels weird to play against all the guys you know so well. Andy is a tough kid. I think he had a good fight and he’s been playing well. He deserves his spot. It was just kind of weird seeing his face on the other side, rather than being beside me on my line.”
Any pre-game thoughts about what it might be like to fight Andreoff?
“I’m always ready for that, but I didn’t think it would come to that. It never really crossed my mind before the game that we might have to go. What happens on the ice stays on the ice, and off the ice I think we’re still going to be good buddies.”
What needs to happen for the Sabres to take the next step forward?
“There’s no doubt all the guys are working their [butts] off. We’re just not burying the chances we get. Both of our goalies have been awesome. You don’t win games when you don’t score goals. That’s the biggest reason. We’ve had a lot of chances where we hit the post or we don’t capitalize.”
Moments later we ran into Andreoff – who, coincidently, was heading towards the Sabres bus. He said he was hoping to share a few minutes with his old buddy before the night’s opponents drove off to the airport.
Meet Larry the Left Wing – LAKings.com feature story on Deslauriers
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