One night after making his NHL debut with the Nashville Predators at the age of 30, forward Mark Van Guilder joined NHL Live discuss the experience.
Van Guilder was in a team meeting with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League this past Saturday when he found out he was going to Nashville.
"I was surprised at first, but all my teammates gave me hugs and high-fives and everything like that," Van Guilder said. "It was pretty special for me. It was awesome."
Van Guilder, who was reassigned to Milwaukee on Monday, played 8:27 on a line with Colin Wilson and Viktor Stalberg in Nashville's 4-3 shootout win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
"It was awesome, it was so much fun," Van Guilder said. "I think the best part of it is my teammates in Milwaukee, the support and the response from them when I found out from my coach. The cool thing about this is I've been in this organization for so long that there are so many guys in Nashville who I knew and I'm friends with, so they made me feel so comfortable. I was actually kind of nervous for the first time in I don't know how many years for a hockey game. It was awesome and lot of fun."
Van Guilder has 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in 66 games for the Admirals during his sixth season with the club. He's been in Nashville's system since 2008-09 playing with the Admirals or the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League.
"It's kind of been one step at a time," Van Guilder said of his hockey career. "I think the closer and closer you get, the more real it becomes and the more you want it."