© Steve Babineau
Andrew Bodnarchuk with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs.
Andrew Bodnarchuk believes it’s just a matter of time before he’s back in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings.
After being called up by the reigning Stanley Cup champions on Jan. 21 the Hammonds Plains defenceman and former Halifax Mooseheads captain was sent back to its American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs last Wednesday.
But the 24-year-old said he’s been given every indication from Kings management and coaching staff that his time will come, and to be prepared.
“I know they’re impressed with my game both at training camp and the couple of weeks I spent with the Kings,” said Bodnarchuk. “I was reminded to stay ready, to stay mentally prepared because there would be a time where I would be slotted into games.”
Bodnarchuk was given his opportunity after L.A.’s blueliner Matt Greene went down with an injury, but the d-man never played in any games, however.
“I was optimistic that I might get a couple games so it was a little disappointing. We’re only 12 games into the season so there’s a lot of time. I’m not the type of guy to push the panic button. I’m hoping to get back there this season. I do believe that will happen.”
In 41 games with Manchester this season, Bodnarchuk has three goals, nine assists and a plus-8 rating.
Overall, Bodnarchuk, 24, has played in five NHL games, all with the Boston Bruins during the 2009-10 season.
While he’s currently committed to the Monarchs he’s itching to make the next step.
“Your first couple years you’re just thrilled to be playing in the AHL and playing professional hockey,” he said. “But now I think I’m ready to make the next step. I’m doing what I have to do to be in top shape, physically and mentally.”
Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax