On January 28, in the midst of a trying season for the LA Kings, General Manager Rob Blake pulled the trigger on a trade that sent longtime Kings player and Stanley Cup Champion, Jake Muzzin, to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for right winger Carl Grundstrom, prospect Sean Durzi and a 2019 first-round draft pick.
Barely two months later, the trade emits its first ray of light when Grundstrom is called up from the AHL's Ontario Reign to play in his first ever NHL game on March 9 against the Arizona Coyotes.
The call, as it turns out, was the moment Grundstrom realized his NHL dream would become reality.
"I was really happy of course, a dream come true," says Grundstrom who tallied his first NHL goal in that first game. "It feels really good, it's really fun to play right now, and it's a great group of guys here too, so I feel great here."
Video: LAK@ARI: Grundstrom lights the lamp in NHL debut
The 21-year-old from Umea, Sweden, scored his second NHL goal the very next night in a game against the Anaheim Ducks, becoming just the second player in Kings history to score goals in each of his first two NHL games, the first being Brian Boyle in 2008.
Being drafted in the second round, 57th overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, was just the beginnning of Grundstrom's path to the NHL.
"I just came over, did my best and waited for my opportunity, then I came [to the Kings]," explains Grundstrom on being called up to the club. "You have to earn your spot and work hard to accomplish things. Hard work pays off."
Grundstrom has been working hard at his craft since the age of five when he first started playing hockey after being inspired by his older brother, Gustav.
"He and his friends were playing hockey and I wanted to play too, so I got into the sport. I thought it looked fun," recalls Grundstrom, who's brother now plays hockey in Sweden's Division 3.
Grundstrom also idolized fellow Swede Peter Forsberg, whom he was able to follow on the Swedish National Team. And though he was only able to watch one or two NHL games per year, Grundstrom kept up to to date with the NHL by watching highlights on a regular basis.
In addition to his brother, Grundstrom has a younger sister, Elin, who plays soccer and floor ball. His family still resides in Sweden and while Grundstrom returns home in the summer, he keeps in touch with his family a couple times a week during the regular season.
They have yet to visit Los Angeles, but Grundstrom is optimistic that they will make a trip perhaps in September.
During his free time, Grundstrom can be found playing golf, tennis or relaxing with friends. He is excited for the golf courses in Southern California and is also a big fan of the beaches, Hermosa, Santa Monica and Venice to name a few.
He's looking forward to his first trip to Universal Studios and his love for comedy and action movies likely has something to do with that. He cites "Fast and Furious" as his all-time favorite flick. Music wise, he loves house, hip hop, and is a big fan of the late Swedish musician Avicii.
Grudstrom admits that if he weren't playing hockey, he'd be a soccer player. LA Galaxy forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is someone Grundstrom currently looks up to and he was part of the Kings contingency of players at the Galaxy's 'LA Kings Night' back in March.
While forward Adrian Kempe is the only current teammate Grundstrom knew before coming to LA due to their time together on the Swedish National Team, Grundstrom has been very well taken care of by his new teammates.
A couple of Grundstrom's closest friends in hockey happen to be Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek, and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson, two guys he also played with while representing his country.
Grundstrom is the kind of person that just tries to enjoy life and have fun. But when it comes to work, there is a clear cut goal for the rookie in what he wants to bring to his new team.
"I hope to bring some high speed and work hard and hopefully help chip in with a couple of goals and points too," Grundstrom expresses.
Sounds like just what the Kings need.