COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–A central Ohio native will make his regular-season debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Thursday.
“I think it’s kind of come full circle, and now I’m excited to play for real and get in front of these fans and be in their colors, in the city’s colors,” said Sean Kuraly, a center.
Kuraly grew up in Dublin, played for the AAA Blue Jackets, and attended Miami University.
In 2011, he was drafted in the fifth round of the NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks. He spent the last five seasons playing for the Boston Bruins. Kuraly was signed by the Blue Jackets, in July.
“Once I found out it was going to be final, and you don’t really know until you put the pen to paper that it’s going to be final, I was super excited,” he said. “I can’t even explain how excited I was, and I think tonight is kind of the culmination of all the excitement when we go out for the first puck drop — my first shift tonight.”
Kuraly, who grew up as a Blue Jackets fan, said his friends and family members are also excited that he will play for the hometown team.
“I will say a couple of my buddies — I knew they still had some Blue Jacket allegiances even when I was on the Bruins, so now there’s no questions,” he said. “We’re all on the same team, and I don’t have to give them any grief not cheering for me.”
Kuraly’s friends and family members planned to attend Thursday’s game, including his father.
“I’m probably more excited than he is,” said Rick Kuraly. “You know, having him back in Columbus and wearing those familiar colors that he wore ever since he’s been a kid, it’s going to be great to see.”
The puck will drop at Nationwide Arena, on Thursday, at 7 p.m. The next home game for the Blue Jackets is Saturday evening, against the Seattle Kraken.