Islanders F MacLean makes his NHL debut in front of his dad, an assistant coach with the team
John MacLean is an assistant coach for the Islanders. He was behind the bench when Kyle MacLean took his first shift in the first period at Chicago, skating on a line with Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin.
MacLean was sent out for a rookie lap by himself before the rest of the Islanders took the ice for warmups ahead of their matchup with the Blackhawks.
“It's pretty cool. Cool building to do it in, too,” MacLean said. “The (national) anthem was cool. The lap, you know, try not to fall and just soak it all in.”
MacLean skated for just over 10 minutes in New York's 4-3 overtime loss. He praised Clutterbuck and Martin for their help with his first game.
“The first (period), obviously, I think naturally you're a little nervous. Some jitters,” he said. “But I felt better as the game went on.”
MacLean's debut capped a long road to the NHL for the 24-year-old New Jersey native. He has 29 goals and 49 assists in 193 career games with the Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, beginning in the 2020-21 season.
“A special night overall. I was very fortunate for the opportunity,” he said.
Asked about having his father on hand as an assistant coach, MacLean said it was “pretty cool.”
“I think leading up to it, it was kind of coach-player relationship,” he said. “Maybe after the game here have a little bit more of a moment to kind of realize it. But yeah, pretty special.”
John MacLean, 59, played in the NHL for 18 years, finishing with 413 goals and 429 assists in 1,194 regular-season games. He won the Stanley Cup in 1995 with New Jersey.
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