National Hockey League training camps and preseason games are the ultimate proving ground for young players.
With that in mind, defenseman Wiley Sherman is more than ready to make his NHL debut as the Bruins’ domestic split squad plays its second preseason game tonight in Washington, D.C., and he’s just soaking in his first professional experience with the organization that drafted him with its fifth-round selection back in 2013.
“It’s really exciting,” Sherman, a Greenwich, Conn., native who played alongside B’s forward Ryan Donato during his four-year career at Harvard, said of the opportunity in front of him. “I’m looking forward to tonight, finally getting a chance to play and show what I’m able to do.”
Few people can rival 41-year-old B’s captain Zdeno Chara in terms of size, but Sherman is probably as close as they come. It’s easy to see ― at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds ― that size is, too, his biggest asset on the ice, so getting a personal look at the team’s monster elder statesman has been an opportunity to relish inside an even bigger opportunity.
“Every time he goes in drills and just throughout practice, I always observe him and see what I can learn from him,” Sherman said of Chara. “There’s obviously a ton. Just his stick work, his first pass, he's really smart in the defensive zone making small plays.”