Warsofsky, who was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, was traded to the Boston Bruins last month, giving the Marshfield, Mass., native a shot to someday play for his favorite team.
"I was excited," said Warsofsky, who was traded for Bruins center Vladimir Sobotka. "It was a pretty special moment, and I'm just excited about the future. Every kid that grows up in Boston grows up as a Bruins fan and dreams about playing for the Bruins one day."
Warsofsky was at his brother's house on June 26 watching the World Cup match between the United States and Ghana when he got the surprising phone call from his adviser, who said he had been traded to the Bruins. The call set off a whirlwind of emotions.
Like many Bruins fans, Warsofsky really appreciated Sobotka's aggressive, creative style on the ice, particularly during Boston's recent playoff runs. So, when Warsofsky found out he had been traded for a guy he'd been rooting for, it made the scenario all the weirder.
"When you're a Bruins fan, you know all the players," Warsofsky said. "To get traded for an NHL player like that is pretty special. He was obviously a big part of the team last year and the past couple of years. Knowing what he's done for the organization and how much the fans like him, it's going to be some shoes to fill. At the same time, it's an unbelievable opportunity for me."
Typical of a puck-moving defenseman, Warsofsky's favorite players are former Bruins Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr, and the 20-year-old has been blessed with the opportunity to work with Bourque. Warsofsky roomed with Bourque's youngest son, Ryan Bourque, when they attended Cushing Academy, where Ray was an assistant coach. Warsofsky and Ryan have remained good friends, and the BU star has spoken with Ray Bourque "a bunch" of times since the trade.
"That helped a lot," Warsofsky said. "Learning everything he's had to offer has been an unbelievable opportunity."
Warsofsky will head back to BU for his junior year and hope to add more accomplishments to his eye-popping resume. He was an integral figure on the Terriers' national championship squad in 2008-09 and recently recorded two assists during U.S.A.'s gold-medal run in the World Junior Championship.
He's also been at his best in big games. Warsofsky has registered a point in every professional sports venue in which the Terriers have played in the last two years. He scored a goal in BU's 3-2 victory against Boston College at Fenway, and he celebrated by swinging his hockey stick like a baseball bat — a celebration that former Terrier Nick Bonino swore was stolen from him.
Warsofsky scored a goal in BU's 3-3 tie with Cornell at Madison Square Garden in November, and he also had an assist in the Terriers' 4-3 national championship victory against Miami at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. And to top it off, he's recorded two goals and three assists in seven career games at the TD Garden.
Warsofsky, who has 15 goals and 31 assists in 79 career games at BU, has great awareness with the puck, and his BU teammates have lauded his "it factor" in prime-time moments. He plays the point on the power-play unit, and he even had the ability to step in and play left wing for a string of games last season — a move that actually helped him cope with some injuries.
For all of his talents, Warsofsky still has to deal with critics who don't like his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame.
"Take it all in," Warsofsky said of the criticism, "put it in your back pocket and try to use that as motivation to help you get to the next level and prove everyone wrong. I'd always like to gain weight and maybe wake up one day with three more inches, but I don't think that's going to happen."
Obviously, his height isn't ideal for a defenseman, but he has the puck-moving ability the Bruins have long craved. To compensate for being vertically challenged, Warsofsky just works to add strength and weight, and he knows he's got to play smarter with his angles and play one step ahead of opposing forwards.
One NHL scout familiar with Warsofsky offered his analysis.
"He's a dynamic player who really lugs the puck well out of his own end. He's a good skater and he competes," the scout said. "His size is his downside, obviously. Right now, he's an individual player — he creates offense for himself, but not as much for his teammates. He did more of that with the [U.S. National Development Team], so he can do it, but hasn't in college. At the next level, he'll have to use his teammates more."
Warsofsky got his initial chance to give the Bruins' brass a firsthand look at his skill set during last week's development camp in Wilmington, Mass. It was the start to the potential realization of a lifelong dream.
"It was fun," Warsofsky said. "It was challenging. It was tough. But at the same time, it was good to get out there and showcase my skills for them, see what they wanted me to do in the future, give them a look at what I can offer."