BRUINS MOVING DOWN THE RIGHT LANE
While most 20-year-olds recently finished studying for final exams and writing essays to cap off the fall semester, Lane MacDermid is attending morning practices and playing in games for the Providence Bruins. Though his age on the stat sheet would lead people to think of a typical college student, MacDermid carries himself in a manner that shows more maturity than one might expect. As a rookie with the P-Bruins, MacDermid is enjoying his first taste of the American Hockey League and he wouldn't prefer the college experience, as he's always known that playing hockey was what he wanted to do. With a father who played 16 National Hockey League seasons, MacDermid has hockey in his genes.
It's not easy being in your rookie season at any level of hockey and to reach that status is harder than one might think, which makes it all the more sweet when it happens.
"It was a great surprise," said MacDermid, reflecting back on the day of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft when he learned that he had been chosen 112th overall by the Boston Bruins.
After spending three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, MacDermid was eager to make it to the next level.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to get picked or not, and getting picked pretty early to a great team was a great shock."
While MacDermid's father, former Hartford Whaler Paul MacDermid, heard the news at the draft in Montreal, the rest of the MacDermid family gathered around the living room computer and celebrated the latest achievement in the young player's career.
After attending Boston's training camp in the fall, MacDermid was sent to begin his first professional season in Rhode Island.
"You want to have a good first impression with the organization, so there's a little bit of nerves. Every rookie has that feeling going into a new team, a new league."
MacDermid, though, has made the adjustment well. Although he had nerves heading into the season, they were eased by the familiar face of MacDermid's former OHL teammate Rob Kwiet, who started off the year as a member of the P-Bruins. Having that familiarity with some of his teammates because of his OHL experience helped MacDermid in his transition to the league.
"When you come to a team, you relate to [the guys] and get to know them pretty fast."
Now that the P-Bruins are nearly halfway through the regular season, MacDermid has had the chance to show what he brings to the table for the club. With 64 penalty minutes in 33 games, MacDermid regularly makes it known that he's going to be a physical presence on the ice, a style of play that his father was accustomed to as well.
"I play physical, so some guys aren't going to like that," said MacDermid of his play. "You're going to get into some tussles. I'm one of the guys that sticks up for his teammates. If I can do that, then it's part of my job."
With his father's hockey career in the past and his with a bright future, MacDermid has a good mentor at home to help out with any questions or situations he may face.
"He's obviously been a huge influence on me, helping me out all the way through since I was a kid. Even now he's giving me pointers and telling me how to improve," explained the younger MacDermid. "He's familiar with [my style of play] so he gave me more points on that because he played the same way. He's helped me out an extreme amount."
Along with supporting their son from afar, MacDermid's parents had the opportunity to spend a week in Providence to watch their son play at the AHL level.
"They liked it. They're impressed and they're happy with it."
While MacDermid works to help the P-Bruins move up in the ranks of the Atlantic Division, he's motivated to play hard and make an impression on the parent club.
"It gives you extra motivation that you have that chance to get called up and play in the NHL. For sure you're going to work harder to try to reach that goal."
Though he has yet to get his first point in the AHL, every game MacDermid works hard to help his team and better his game. Using his father's advice and insight to guide him, it's Lane's turn to move up the professional hockey ladder and break into the NHL.