By Peter Marx
OXFORD, Ohio – Former Miami University defenseman Cameron Schilling made his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals last Tuesday, March 12.
Schilling was brought up from the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears due to injuries to two Capitals’ defensemen.
“It was definitely a dream come true and surreal at the same time,” said Schilling, who received about 12 minutes of playing time vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. “Being able to make the phone call to family members and people who are close to me were definitely great calls to make.”
Schilling, 24, didn’t record a point during his lone game with Washington, but the first-year professional has made an impact with the Bears, recording six goals and eight assists with a +8 rating in 56 games this season.
“Cameron is a great story because he came to our program as a walk-on and he really earned his stripes,” MU coach Enrico Blasi said. “He’s got a great shot, he’s a good skater, he’s got pretty good skill as a defenseman, which are all elements that have gotten him to that level. And he works extremely hard.”
Schilling, who was sent back to Hershey on Saturday, played for Miami from 2008-12. The Carmel, Ind., native earned a scholarship after his freshman season with the RedHawks and tallied a goal and 13 assists in 39 games during his senior season last year.
“His upside took off,” Blasi said. ‘Toward the end of his freshman year, we thought this kid could be something. He ended up playing in most of his games his freshman year and was on the ice in the national championship game.”
Blasi said he watched Schilling make his NHL debut and the two exchanged text messages before and after the game.
“It was cool,” the coach said. “Anytime our guys play, I always try to tune in. I’m proud of him and it feels good to know that maybe we had a little part to do with him playing at that level.”
Schilling doesn’t know when he’ll have another opportunity to return to the NHL, but for now he says he’ll continue to work hard and see what happens.
“I give him a lot of credit,” Blasi said. “It’s quite an accomplishment.”
For more on Schilling's NHL debut, click here.