ST. LOUIS -- For Bruins rookie defenseman David Warsofsky, his first time playing the NHL team that traded his rights away doesn't elicit a desire for vengeance.
The St. Louis Blues drafted the Weymouth, Mass. native in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Draft, and then shipped him to Boston in exchange for energy forward Vladimir Sobotka two years later in a 2010 draft-day deal.
Sobotka is out for the Thursday night game against his former B’s teammates after suffering an injury that knocked him off the Olympic roster for the Czech Republic, but Warsofsky will be taking a regular turn among the B’s defensemen.
The 23-year-old admitted there’s a little natural instinct to want to prove the Blues wrong, but he also couldn’t complain about being traded to his hometown team with the Boston Bruins.
It took three years for Warsofsky to reach the NHL after the deal, but he’ll get the chance to now suit up against that very same Blues team for the first time.
“At the time I hadn’t played any professional games, so it wasn’t really a big deal to me,” said Warsofsky, who will be playing in his fifth career NHL game with Zdeno Chara off to Sochi. “Obviously I got traded to my hometown organization where I’m playing now, so obviously for me that was a special opportunity.
“You never want to get traded from any team, but getting traded to Boston was a pretty good feeling and unique opportunity.”
One thing Warsofsky was pretty charged up about: his first chance to play a pro hockey game against former BU teammate and upcoming US Olympian Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk and Warsofsky played two years together on Comm. Ave. from 2008-2010 while helping the Terriers win an NCAA championship in 2009, and formed some very talented blueline crews with former P-Bruins defenseman Colby Cohen, Matt Gilroy, Brian Strait and Eric Gryba. All six of those players ultimately logged games at the NHL level after moving on from Boston University, but Shattenkirk has been the most accomplished as a slick puck-moving defenseman for the Blues.
“I went to BU with Shatty, obviously, so it’ll be fun to play against him,” said Warsofsky. “It’s my first game against St. Louis, and we never play their AHL team. We’re in Springfield and Worcester every single night. We don’t get out West too much.
“At BU you always knew [Shattenkirk] had the talent, but to actually do it at this level is something else. What he’s done to make the Olympic team, you just tip your cap to him. Whenever you play with guys that like that at the AHL or college that really make it, it really lets you know that you have an opportunity to do it as well.”
It should also be fun to watch Warsofsky in his return to the Black and Gold as he really seemed to find the comfort zone in his final game vs. Ottawa in his last NHL stint, and was showing off the offensive instincts that have him on the cusp of a regular gig in The Show.