Few things are cooler than a player making his NHL debut. One of those things has to be making said debut in your own hometown.
With John-Michael Liles sidelined following a third-period collision with Ottawa's Curtis Lazar last night, the Carolina Hurricanes are down to the bare bones on defense. Liles is out for the near future with a lower-body injury, and his replacement will be Danny Biega, recalled today from Charlotte (AHL). The 23-year-old Montreal native, a third-round pick in the 2010 draft who has played 130 games with the Checkers over the past two-plus seasons, will have plenty of family in the crowd at the Bell Centre tomorrow night as he makes his NHL debut in his hometown rink.
Biega has not missed a game this season, and has two goals and 12 assists in 64 games with the Checkers. Prior to joining the Checkers late in the 2012-13 season, Biega played for four years at Harvard, winning the Best Defensive Defenseman award in his junior year.
The release from the team is below.
HURRICANES RECALL DANNY BIEGA FROM CHARLOTTE
Defenseman expected to make NHL debut on Thursday at Montreal
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled defenseman Danny Biega from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Biega is expected to make his NHL debut on Thursday at the Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens.
Biega, 23, is in his second full professional season, and has scored two goals and earned 12 assists (14 points), while playing in all 64 of Charlotte’s games this season. The Montreal, Que., native’s 14 points rank him tied for third among team defensemen in scoring, and he ranks seventh among all Checkers skaters with 77 penalty minutes. Biega has scored five goals and earned 27 assists (32 points) in 130 career AHL regular-season games with Charlotte.
Biega (6’0", 205 lbs.) played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Harvard prior to turning professional. He was named ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman following his junior season of 2011-12. That same year, he was named an NCAA East First-Team All-American, was a Hobey Baker Award candidate and finished second in voting for ECAC Hockey Player of the Year. In 132 career games with the Crimson, Biega notched 28 goals and earned 57 assists (85 points). The Hurricanes drafted Biega in the third round, 67th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.