One of the world’s most historic arenas followed by facing your hometown team. That’s how Beck Malenstyn got his first taste of NHL regular season action.
The 21-year-old forward from South Delta was called-up by the Washington Capitals from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He made his debut in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and was also in the line-up for Saturday morning’s 2-1 home ice shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
“Lot of energy involved in that first game. A lot of nerves,” Malenstyn told the Washington media following Saturday’s game. “They were still here today for the first home game too though it was nice to get a few practices under the belt and get to know the systems a little bit better before heading out there.
“My goal is obviously to be here full time but for these first two games I’m just trying to take in every moment that I can and I thought I was able to do that and it’s been a great experience. We will see where it goes from here but it’s definitely been an enjoyable few days for me.”
Malenstyn was getting ready to practice with Hershey when he learned the news he was heading to the Capitals along with three other players. He received nearly 10 minutes of ice time against the Rangers and recorded three shots on goal, including a breakaway on goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
“It’s a whirlwind it happened pretty quickly,” added Malenstyn of his promotion. “You’re going to practice, getting ready to go on the ice, then get called into the coaches room. It was a pretty special moment.
“It didn’t sink (it was Madison Square Garden) until you step onto the ice. It’s such a historic rink with so much that has gone on in it. You dream about it when you are watching as a kid so it's pretty cool to live it in real life.”
Malenstyn came through South Delta Minor Hockey before taking his career to the Okanagan Hockey Academy at the Bantam level. He spent three years in the Western Hockey League with the Calgary Hitmen then helped Swift Current advance to the Memorial Cup in his final season.
He was the Capitals’ fifth round pick (145th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
He had 16 points in 74 games during his rookie season at Hershey. He had six points in 18 games before being called-up.