Dominik Kubalik preparing to make NHL debut with Blackhawks in home country Czech Republic: ‘I still can't believe it'


PRAGUE — Dominik Kubalik didn't want to get ahead of himself. All training camp long he prefaced any questions asked about the possibility of making his NHL debut in his home country of Czech Republic with an if, not a when, and even so felt uncomfortable talking about it.

He no longer has to do that.

The Blackhawks finalized their 2019 Opening Night roster on Tuesday and Kubalik found himself on it, which he absolutely earned. That was enough for him to feel over the moon about where things are at in his life.

But gearing up to play in his first career NHL game at O2 Arena in Prague on Friday with his family and friends in attendance? That may never sink in.

"I went home yesterday, so that was nice to see your family and spend some time with them," Kubalik said, smiling from ear to ear, in a jam-packed media scrum on Wednesday after practice. "I had a great time. I still can't believe it. I'm on an NHL team at home, so it's just a great feeling."

While the first few days have been a whirlwind for the hometown kid, Kubalik doesn’t appear to be overwhelmed by the moment. He’s taking the experience all in and embracing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"It's great,” Kubalik said. “It's definitely a dream come true. It's something really special and makes it a little bit more special that we are in this building, in this city, so I'm trying to enjoy it. That's all I can say."

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