ANAHEIM, Calif. — For right winger Nic Aube-Kubel, the anticipation of making his NHL debut Tuesday night in Anaheim had him looking at the ceiling earlier in the week.
"I've been hardly sleeping the last two days," he said Tuesday after the morning skate.
Aube-Kubel played just nine shifts totaling 5 minutes and 44 seconds in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Ducks. He contributed four of the Flyers' 25 hits and had one shot on goal.
"He did a good job. He did exactly what we wanted him to," coach Dave Hakstol said. "He played straight-line, he won battles. I thought he won the majority of his battles along the wall and took care of pucks and didn't try to make plays that weren't there, so it was a positive night for him."
Veteran center Jori Lehtera had some advice for Aube-Kubel before the game: Keep it simple and be yourself.
"I played with him in exhibitions and in training camp, so I kind of know what kind of player he is," Lehtera said before he centered Aube-Kubel and left winger Scott Laughton in the game. "I think he's going to bring a lot of energy. I remember my first game. I was full of energy, so I think he's going to make it easier for me and Laughts. He's a fast skater and he's really strong. I think he'll mix in well on our line."
Aube-Kubel, 22, promoted from the AHL's Phantoms earlier in the week, said playing in some preseason games had eased his nerves, but not his excitement.
"I've been dreaming of this since I'm little," he said. "It's a dream come true."
His father and uncle traveled from Alberta to be at the game, and he had two friends travel from Quebec to watch his debut.
Aube-Kubel (second round) was the third player from the 2014 draft in Philadelphia to play for the Flyers, joining Travis Sanheim (first round) and Oskar Lindblom (fifth).
The NHL on Monday announced a partnership with MGM Resorts, with commissioner Gary Bettman saying the new sports betting landscape presented a "unique opportunity" for fan engagement that uses technology and data that are exclusive to the league.
Some of that technology includes the velocity of players' shots and other measures that can help bettors.
Radko Gudas, the Flyers' player representative, said "some guys are going to be against it, some guys are going to be for it. But it's a good thing."
Gudas said having more statistical information available and legalized betting might make hockey more popular to fans.
"Hockey is one sport that is not real high in the U.S.' top rankings, so maybe it can help grow the sport," he said.