The Washington Times - September 25, 2008, 11:16AM

No, that quote wasn’t from the this story (though the quote in there is hilarious), it was from 18-year-old John Carlson on his day yesterday. Carlson got to experience the NHL life up close for the first time.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “The flight down here and everything – it was all first class. It was a great experience, a really cool thing to do and I just tried to do my best.”


I’m sure some 10-year veterans think a day like yesterday is routine, but sometimes it is easy to forget what it meant for a guy like Carlson. He spent years getting rides from kids’ parents to games in New Jersey, and last year motoring around the Midwest in the USHL. For him, just being on a chartered flight with catered meals was an experience.

Oh, and there was an NHL game to be played as well — and the kid didn’t look out of place. He and his partner Sami Lepisto had a couple of issues getting the puck out of the defensive zone in the first period, but they setttled in during the final 40 minutes. Carlson could his whole body along the boards a little more instead of just his arms, but the kid is a natural with the puck on his stick.

“I gained a lot of confidence and a lot of the guys helped me out with that too,” Carlson said. “The coaches stayed behind me too. It was great. It was the best day of my life.”

Here’s guessing Carlson will have many more best days of his life sooner rather than later.