VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic is back in Vancouver, a city that has hosted some of his biggest hockey moments.

Lucic, 22, was drafted in Vancouver by Boston in 2006, and one year later won a Memorial Cup junior hockey title with the hometown Vancouver Giants. He had his own bobblehead given away during a February visit with the Bruins, and now he is back and getting ready to compete for the Stanley Cup.

It’s ironic, then, that his first moment in the Vancouver hockey spotlight was one he would prefer everyone forgets — it occurred in a chicken suit.

“Not the chicken suit,” Lucic said, throwing his head back with a laugh when it came up Tuesday. “People just won’t let that go for some reason.”

Lucic was a good sport about it, explaining he was 16 and on the Giants’ protected list when he showed up with a friend to watch a 2005 game and was talked into being part of the second-intermission entertainment.

“A chicken race,” Lucic said. “There are no pictures, thank God. No evidence. But it was funny because that was in February and by the middle of March I was playing. That’s what makes the story cool.”

Lucic’s path to the NHL took off quickly. The Bruins chose him in the second round, 50th overall, a year later. He won the Memorial Cup MVP award after leading the Giants to the junior hockey title in 2007, and the next fall made the Bruins at age 19.

He had eight goals and 27 points in 77 games as an NHL rookie, but made a more lasting impressing with Boston fans for his big hits and hustle.

Now, four seasons later, he is back in Vancouver trying to win a Stanley Cup in front of family and friends.

“It’s definitely special to be able to play here in the Stanley Cup final and the fact it’s at home, against the team I grew up cheering for, makes it extra special,” Lucic said. “And my parents don’t have to fly.”

Lucic hasn’t torn it up in these playoffs, with three goals and nine points — the same point total he had when Boston was eliminated in the second round the previous two seasons. But he has plenty of confidence.

In addition to all the big junior moments in Vancouver, Lucic capped a late February trip that included the bobblehead and a place in the Giants Ring of Honor with a goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory over the Canucks.

“I know there are guys that when they go home they maybe tighten up and don’t play as well as they can, but I’ve never had an issue or problem playing in Vancouver,” Lucic said. “It gives me confidence that I was able to play well that game but this is the playoffs now. It’s going to be that much harder.”

It actually seems to be getting easier for Lucic, who had four points in the last five games of Boston’s win over Tampa Bay. Playing on the top line with David Krejci and Nathan Horton, four of Lucic’s assists in the playoffs have come on winning goals. And he has the ability to change games simply by throwing around his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame on the forecheck.

“I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit,” Horton said. “I’m excited for him to be here and playing in front of his family and friends. It must be special for him to be here. He’s got that extra little buzz around him.”

As for the chicken suit, Horton said he’s heard about it.

“But I don’t want to say too much,” he said with a smile.