"It's a dream come true," said Dennis Gilbert, who was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs by the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday morning.
The 22-year-old defenseman will be making his NHL debut at the United Center versus the St. Louis Blues.
"Pretty cool moment to be able to call my parents last night and thank them for everything they've done for me over the years to help me get there," Gilbert said. "It will be pretty cool to share this night with them."
Video: Inside the Locker Room: Dennis Gilbert
The Buffalo, NY native was selected in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft and has spent the entire season down in the American Hockey League with Rockford, playing 59 games and registering five goals and nine assists.
"I think he's been maybe the best D down there," said Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton. "He's been really good for… months, or whatever you want to call it. He's improved as the year has gone on and it's a chance to get a taste of this level. We want to see where he's at."
Gilbert said the year in Rockford has been "huge" for his development, especially early in the season as he adjusted to life as a professional hockey player. He spent the previous three seasons with the University of Notre Dame.