By Adam Vingan
Monday, Hershey Bears forward Cody Eakin was seeing the movie “In Time” when he received a phone call – the call to the NHL.
There couldn’t have been a more fitting movie title for the occasion.
The Washington Capitals officially recalled Eakin from the AHL Tuesday and he was on the ice for morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. At the end of Tuesday’s skate, he was in the locker room while forward Jeff Halpern stayed on the ice participating in extra drills. That all but solidified that Eakin would make his NHL debut Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.
“I’m pretty happy,” Eakin said. “It’s exciting. I get an opportunity to play my first game.”
After participating in July’s Development Camp and early September’s Rookie Camp, Eakin received an invitation to participate in the Caps’ official training camp. Eakin made it to the bitter end before being one of Washington’s final cuts October 4.
In 10 games with the Bears, Eakin has three goals and five assists. Despite his solid production, Eakin “didn’t really expect” to get recalled this early, but head coach Bruce Boudreau saw it coming.
“Every report we’ve gotten is he’s played really, really well down in Hershey,” Boudreau said. “He’s a guy that we’ve really wanted to take a look at. We thought Hershey only had one game this week and this was a good opportunity to take a good look at him.”
Before Eakin left Washington for Hershey in early October, he had a meeting with management, who told him that it was up to him to prove if and when he would be back. Now that he is, it’s time for Eakin to continue improving.
“The next however long kind of depends on me,” Eakin said. “I could be in Hershey for a while or I could be there for a short time. I’ve obviously just been trying to work hard and get the systems right and get comfortable with the game. I’m lucky to have the opportunity. This early, especially.”