Through the good times, through the bad times, through his entire first full professional hockey season, Nick Lappin kept smiling.
Beaming during the highs makes sense, of course, but even during the lows?
"I love the game," the 6-1, 174-pound right wing said. "It’s the best job in the world. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I get to play hockey every day. There’s the cliché saying, ‘Don’t ride your highs too high, your lows too low.’ I might be playing well, I might be playing bad, but I’m playing hockey for a living."
Lappin already had an impressive résumé before the season started.
Following a four-year career at Brown University, Lappin, undrafted, signed a two-year, entry-level contract, starting with the 2016-17 campaign, with the New Jersey Devils in March 2016, and reported to Albany of the American Hockey League. With the A-Devils, he potted his first pro goal in his second game and netted the game-winning score with 40 seconds left in the third period the next day. He finished the regular season with seven points (3-4-7) in 12 games.