Report: Babcock makes one significant change to tonight's lineup

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The Toronto Maple Leafs square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 7pm ET, and while they'll be going with a largely similar roster, there were a couple changes made to the blueline.

Travis Dermott, who played his first ever NHL game on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks, has been promoted to the second pairing, where he'll be tried on the right side instead of his natural left. 

His coaches with the Toronto Marlies had been experimenting with him on that side.

Connor Carrick occupied that position but he appears to be the odd man out tonight, as Andreas Borgman makes his way back into the lineup.

Dermott had a strong first game in the National Hockey League, admitting to some jitters in his opening shifts, but aside from a few misreads, he excelled as the game progressed.

Head coach Mike Babcock had some positive words about the rookie defenseman following the game.

Dermott, for his part, was just soaking in the moment.

The 34th overall pick in 2015 notched an assist in his first ever NHL game.

“From in my own blue!” he said postgame, as reported by The Athletic's James Mirtle. “They helped me on that one.” 

He made sure to keep that puck, even if it wasn't the prettiest first point ever.

The team's top defenseman in Morgan Rielly had a glowing review of the newcomer.

"He's a very talented player. We've all kind of known that for a while. We've had that opinion about him. He's an unbelievable skater. I think on his first shift he made a move into the middle and carried the puck across the red (line) and got it in. I told him right before I went out there 'Just go for a skate. You're one of the best skaters on the team.' And I didn't expect him to do that. It shows confidence. I think he played outstanding.”

While it's too early to make predictions and general assessments of Dermott's play, it's clear the potential is there - and Babcock is testing him out on the right side of the second pairing to see what he's capable of with added responsibility.