Chay Genoway made his NHL debut on Saturday night for the Wild and it was a pretty good one.
Genoway notched his first-career point — an assist on Minnesota’s only goal — and played 18:16 for the Wild.
At the start of the game, Wild coach Mike Yeo spotted Genoway shifts, but significantly increased his ice time as the game went along, even giving him power-play and penalty-kill shifts. Genoway played 3:23 in the first, 7:31 in the second and 7:22 in the third.
Genoway looked more and more comfortable as the game went along. He broke up two odd-man rushes defensively — one nearly leading to a Devin Setoguchi goal. He also drew a penalty in the third period.
Genoway had one minus shift and one plus shift, ending up even on the night. He also had one shot on goal.
On his assist, Genoway made two tremendous plays, beating a Phoenix player along the wall right before he gave the puck to Mikko Koivu.
For his efforts, he was named the No. 2 star of the game.
Genoway will now return to Houston for the remainder of the season. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year. Considering his strong debut, and his very good season in Houston, it would be shocking if the Wild didn’t qualify him.
We’ll see if he gets more of a shot next season. It was clear that he’s ahead of a couple of other guys the Wild have called up earlier this season.
Either way, Genoway has quite a story. If I recall correctly, Genoway did not have a single scholarship offer on the day he graduated from high school. His UND offer came when he was playing in the BCHL the next year. In the days of early recruiting, Genoway’s story is a good lesson.