In the last few years, Bruins fans have become accustomed to seeing local players on the ice at the TD Garden. It started with the 2017-18 season when Bruins called up defensemen Matt Grzelcyk from Providence. The Charlestown native grew up in eye shot of the Boston Garden and had been drafted by his home town team 85th overall in the 2012 draft. A season later, the Bruins added Chris Wagner who was from Walpole originally and then last season traded for Weymouth native Charlie Coyle. Many fans have loved being able to see home grown talent contribute to this team and the ‘Massachusetts Connection’ between them has been strong.
However tonight, there will be another Massachusetts native skating on the ice of the Garden, even though it won’t be for the Bruins.
Jimmy Vesey, who is also from the Boston area, will be playing tonight at the Garden against the Bruins for the Buffalo Sabres. Though he has played there a few times before, this will be his first game with Buffalo since being traded there from the Rangers this past offseason. His season has been off to a bit of a slow start, not having any goals yet and only two assists but the expectations are still high for the former Hobey Baker winner.
For most people from Boston and more specifically the neighborhood of Charlestown, the real fun during this game will be seeing Vesey play against his childhood friend, Matt Grzelcyk. The two players started off playing together at a young age before going on to playing together at the high school level at Belmont Hill. From there they became teammates for Charlestown’s famed Kitchen Kup and then became Bean Pot rivals when Vesey went to play at Harvard and Grzelcyk at Boston University.
Although the Sabres are a few games behind the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, tonight’s game should be a hard-fought match up. While any divisional game should be considered important, the entertainment factor will most likely come a lot from the Sabres’ Left Winger and the Bruins’ Defensemen who are playing against each other in the NHL only two miles from where they won the Kitchen Kup title while in high school.
~Mary Evers ( @For_Evers_Young)