MOORHEAD — When Will Borgen was around 15 years old he told his dad that he was going to play in the NHL one day. Like any responsible parent, his dad told him he needs to have a backup plan. Borgen told him the NHL was Plan B and Plan C.
Borgen made his NHL debut Tuesday night with the Buffalo Sabres.
"It was just a lot of excitement," Borgen said of his call-up prior to Tuesday's game in an interview posted on the Sabres official website. "It was pretty crazy. I got a little nervous right away, but excited too."
The Sabres recalled the former Moorhead High School defenseman from the Rochester Americans on Tuesday. Borgen is in his first professional hockey season, notching 12 points in 74 career games with the Rochester Americans, an affiliate of the Sabres.
Borgen is a 2015 Moorhead graduate and was a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, signing an entry-level deal with the Sabres last March after his junior year at St. Cloud State. Borgen is the seventh former Moorhead hockey player to play in the NHL.
"I just try to finish my checks," Borgen said of his physical style. "That's always been a part of my game. Being physical is just part of my game. In front of the net, move guys out, I do a defenseman's job."
Parents of NHL players are given a stipend for their child's first NHL game. Borgen's parents, Lori and Bill, said they were unable to get to Ottawa from Fargo on Tuesday in time for the 6:30 p.m. game.
"We are extremely proud of Will in Moorhead," Moorhead boys hockey coach Jon Ammerman said. "Four years ago he played on the varsity soccer and hockey team at Moorhead High School as a senior. In his time since, he's been drafted in the NHL, played on a World Junior Championship team, on the US Olympic Team, was named the NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the year, and now has the chance to play in an NHL game. Pretty incredible couple of years and with his skill set and athleticism there is more to come if he continues to work hard."