Curtis Lazar — the Sens' first round pick in 2013 — was named to the opening day roster on Monday. Here's what he had to say about being named to the big club...
On making the cut:
There were some sleepless nights, let's put it that way. I'm honoured to be here and ready to get going on the next opportunity but at the same time I know the work is just about to begin. That's the next step, the guys here have been great, it's day one and I'm looking forward to getting going.
On when he found out:
I got an e-mail last night with the itinerary for the upcoming road trip and that got the wheels turning. I didn't want to think too far ahead but I got in this morning and saw the jersey in my stall for practice. I'm a pretty happy guy right now but I didn't want to look too far ahead, I'm just taking it a day at a time.
On what clinched his spot:
I just tried to be myself, come out here and compete hard and prove to everyone that I belong in this league and I can play with the guys out there. Everyone here has helped me out in all aspects. I'm comfortable away from the rink and at the rink and I'm looking forward to getting more confidence in some situations so I can take off.
On the challenge of regular season NHL hockey:
I'm looking forward to that challenge. Game one in the NHL for me is going to be pretty exciting. Hopefully I can get into the lineup and just make my presence felt. In saying that, there are a lot of veteran guys out there and they know what they're doing. I'll be a little wide-eyed and the nerves may get the better of me but it's all going to be a learning curve and I'm ready for that.
On trying to stay in Ottawa beyond the nine games:
Right now I'm trying to work on my good practice habits and get my game one. I know the audition is continuing and a decision has to be made but right now I'm just trying to enjoy myself. My goal was to come to training camp and be in the position I'm in right now, but I'm not going to start working harder, I still have to be myself and come in with an even keel and I look forward to the opportunity.
On the first people he's going to tell:
I'm going to talk to my parents, they have some travel plans they have to accommodate heading out to Nashville. My parents have been the backbone of everything I do, they've supported me every step of the way and it's a pretty special day, I've dreamed of playing in the National Hockey League and I'm one step closer. I know when I get the opportunity to step on the ice for my first game it's going to be something I'll never forget.
On if he relaxed a bit after Saturday's performance:
I wish I could but that's just me, I worry and I stress. I'm a perfectionist in that sense, I expect a lot out of myself. I knew there was a lot in the air and there was a decision to be made but I know I can handle it, I'm ready for this next opportunity and I can't forget to enjoy myself too. It's the National Hockey League, it's a pretty big deal, especially for a 19-year old such as myself. I know mistakes are going to happen and there's going to be growing pains but everyone is supporting me along the way and I'm looking forward to getting going.