Chicago Sun-Times

Defenseman Nick Leddy ready for his first NHL game

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DENVER -- Forgive rookie defenseman Nick Leddy if he feels a bit jittery Thursday. He'll be playing in his first NHL game when the Hawks meet the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

"It's obviously very exciting," the 19-year-old said Thursday after the Hawks' morning skate. "I don't think I'll be taking a nap today."

Leddy was the only rookie to make the team. He stood out for his poise with the puck and his ability to move it. Brian Campbell's knee injury also helped his cause. Now, he's paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson, Campbell's defensive partner.

"It's obviously going to be a special moment," said Leddy, who will have his father and uncle in attendance. "But I'll take it like another game."

Hawks players such as Campbell, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith have all praised Leddy. The rookie has also gotten some advice from the Hawks.

"A little bit here and there -- just stay calm and keep playing your game," said Leddy, who patterns his style of play after Keith and Campbell. "[But] I'm not really calm right now."

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Well he didnt look to ready when that puck at the blue line took a crazy bounce and went behind him and then he dogged it to get to it in the first Period--only to get beaten badly and which then turned into the Avalanches first goal. This is the NHL son, not Minnesota High School hockey---you can NEVER dog it, even just a little, to get to any puck at any time in the NHL. Pick it up or get him to Rockford to relearn digging to pucks EVERY single time when up in the "Bigs"...no excuse for that.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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