SAN JOSE – One big part of the Blackhawks’ current rebuild will be the development of young players in their system, and that includes a forward from Orland Park.

David Gust got his chance to show what he could do at the NHL level, and he didn’t wait long to make the most of it.

On Saturday night against the Sharks, in his first game in the league and on his first shift, the forward got his first NHL goal on his first shot just 2:14 into play at the SAP Center. It came just two days after Gust signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Blackhawks as he starts a new chapter of his career with the organization.

“First shift, can’t write it up any better,” said Gust on Saturday night after a 4-3 shootout victory. “It was a good first game and good to get that out of the way.”

On his first shift, he skated down to San Jose and was in front of the goal when he got a quick pass from Colin Blackwell from behind and to the side of the net. Gust was able to get his stick on the puck and then knock it past Kaapo Kahkonen to get that first NHL score.

“Holy smokes, that was fast,” said Gust of his reaction to the goal.

What made it better is that his parents both made the trip out to San Jose to see the game and, of course, his first goal. “So that was pretty cool and was special to them.”

“In the intermission, I saw them. They were both balling their eyes out,” said Gust of his parent’s reaction to the score.

This completes an over decade-long journey to the NHL for the Orland Park native who graduated from Marist High School in 2012 and played for the Chicago Fury. He started playing with the Fargo Force of the USHL before going to Ohio State, where he was from 2013-2017.

After going undrafted, Gust signed with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, where he played for two seasons. Then he signed with the Charlotte Checkers for the 2019-2020 campaign before the Hurricanes inked him to a one-year, two-way contract in October 2020.

That sent him close to home to play for the Chicago Wolves for two seasons, helping the team to a Calder Cup title in the 2021-2022 campaign.

During this offseason, Gust signed with the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, and found immediate success. He had career-highs in goals (24) and assists (26) and was named an AHL All-Star.

Now a new chapter of the Orland Park native’s hockey journey has started, and success found him quickly during his first game.