Highly touted prospect Matthew Poitras has been very vocal about making the decision very difficult for the Boston Bruins to send him back to juniors at the end of training camp.

On Sunday night in his first National Hockey League preseason game with the Black and Gold, he added to the pros of keeping him.

Skating on the first line with James van Riemsdyk and Jake DeBrusk, Poitras potted his first goal of the NHL preseason on the power play in the first period and added a helper on DeBrusk’s second-period goal. He finished the night 7-for-11 from the faceoff dot and took his first bonafide national league hit from Rangers forward Jake Leschyshyn.

“The hits along the wall hurt a bit more and drain your energy,” Poitras told reporters, per team-provided video. “That’s the main thing I noticed. But I felt good about what the process was.”

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Poitras noted that DeBrusk and van Riemsdyk helped with his play throughout the game by providing the 19-year-old with advice and encouragement.

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“They really helped me with my confidence level going into the game,” Poitras said. “Just to keep things simple. When you get the puck along the wall at the blue line just chip it out and live to fight another day. There’s not always a play to be made.”

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Prior to the game, Poitras sat on the Bruins bench with fellow prospect Brett Harrison taking in the atmosphere at TD Garden.

“I like to sit out and look at the arena. Kinda get the whole scene in my head. Get used to the rink,” Poitras told Adam Pellerin during the first-period intermission, as seen on NESN. “It’s the first time we’re playing here so it was cool to just sit on the bench and take it all in.”

After the game, the nostalgia of playing in his first NHL action didn’t wear off one bit — just a tad bit nerve-racking and fun at the same time.

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“Obviously, there’s pressure and there’s nerves playing (my) first game at this level and at TD Garden,” Poitras said. “Just kind of looking around. It’s crazy but it’s fun. It’s fun anytime I get to step on the ice to play hockey.”

Under the NHL-CHL contract rules, a prospect drafted from the OHL, WHL or QMJHL cannot be assigned to the AHL until they have turned 20 years old or played four seasons in the league they were drafted from. Poitras would either need to be on the Bruins NHL roster or be sent back to the Guelph Storm where he potted 16 goals and 79 assists for 95 points in 63 games last season.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said Poitras had a good game but needs to keep showing that throughout the remainder of camp.

“It’s a big challenge,” Montgomery said of Poitras making the club out of camp, per team-provided video. “Because it’s a man’s league out there. He didn’t see the NHL tonight. It’s a really good start but that’s what he needs to do. He played a really good game and he’s going to get another game. If he keeps playing he’ll get rewarded. It would be a pleasant surprise if he was able to do it for us.”

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The Bruins are off on Monday but will get right back into game action when they travel to Buffalo, N.Y. for an Atlantic Division matchup with the Sabres on Tuesday night. Puck drop from KeyBank Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. You can catch the game on NESN+.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images