Ottawa native Cody Ceci will make his regular-season NHL debut Thursday night in front of a hometown crowd when the Senators host the Buffalo Sabres.
Ceci, the team's first-round selection in the 2012 draft, was called up from the Binghamton Senators on an emergency basis after defenceman Marc Methot came down with the flu and fellow blueliner Jared Cowen will begin serving his two-game suspension.
The 19-year-old is used to playing in front of family and friends, having played his junior hockey with the Ottawa 67s.
But his mother, Karen Sylvester-Ceci, said making his NHL debut is a dream come true.
"It's just starting to sink in now, oh my God he's finally getting that chance and it's going to be awesome that he's playing at home," said Ceci.
"I can't believe that it just kind of lined up perfectly to get to play his first NHL game in Ottawa."
Family to watch game live
She said her husband, Cody's brother Cole and sister Chelsea, and his two grandmothers are making the trip from Orleans to the Canadian Tire Centre for the 7:30 p.m. ET game.
Karen Ceci said the call-up took her by surprise. She said she found out from a colleague first and then noticed reports coming through Twitter.
Then her son called her and confirmed the news.
"Oddly enough, moms are always the last to know about these things," she said.
Ceci currently leads all Binghamton Senators defencemen and is third overall on the team in scoring with two goals and 17 points.