Swift Current Broncos’ forward Cody Eakin’s time away from hockey did not last long after the Broncos were eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoffs on Wednesday.
Eakin was called up by the Washington Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and will join the team on Monday.
“It is exciting. I don’t really know what to expect, whether I will see some ice or just practice and get an experience. But either way it is going to be new for me. It will be awesome to get up there and move forward,” said Eakin prior to leaving Swift Current.
Eakin, 18, tied for third in WHL goal scoring this season with 47 goals, and was ninth with 91 points.
The 85th overall pick of the Capitals in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry draft will join the Bears, who easily lead the AHL with a 53-14-0-3 record.
“I know how good of a team they are. They won it last year and a pretty good favorite this year. I know (former Regina Pat) Garrett Mitchell and a couple of the prospects that are up there and a couple of guys that are up there from Washington’s camp from around the room and on the ice. For the most part it will all be fairly new and fresh for me though.”
Eakin, who signed an entry level NHL contract with the Capitals in October, hopes to see the ice with the Bears.
“If I see some ice time then I definitely have to put on the work boots, play a simple game, and just keep it simple and smart. If not then I just need to skate hard in practice, soak it all in, and enjoy every minute I am there for.”
He has received some feedback from the Capitals throughout the season.
“Not a whole bunch. Just throughout the year kind of some things that I have been doing well or things that I could improve on, not a tonne of stuff. The things that I need to do are always there, get stronger, work on the small aspects of my game, and the simple points.”