Vegas Golden Knights did what?
In the long run, this game will mean about as much as a summer scrimmage, but for the Vegas Golden Knights, this game was the start of normalcy. Now, all the attention in Vegas turns to the ice.
It’s all about hockey now.
Training camp is in full swing and with six or seven spots up for grabs on the opening night roster, the young guns took to the ice in their pre-season debut against the Vancouver Canucks with something to prove. They sure did impress.
They won the game 9-4.
Tyler Wong scored a hat-trick.
Not bad for the young guy who is expected to play the season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Cody Glass chipped in with two assists. Brad Hunt, a name most have never heard before, had three assists as well.
Tomas Hyka is one of the players on the roster vs the Canucks who has a strong chance of making the opening night roster. He scored two goals. Tomas Nosek, an expansion draft pick up from the Red Wings also had a goal and two assists. Paul Thompson and Alex Tuch also added a goal each for the Golden Knights.
Of note, goaltender Dylan Ferguson had a strong showing in goal, making 29 saves. He is having a strong camp and is slowly making a case for being in Chicago with Vegas’ AHL affiliate this season.
It was an impressive showing for the young squad, and something I am sure this team will use to build on. The future of Vegas seems to be bright. Today may have also made it clear that many of these young kids are not far from being bonafide NHL’ers.
Ultimately, It is just a pre-season game and not much should be taken from this impressive outing. However, for Vegas fans, to see the team getting closer and closer to playing a meaningful hockey game, every game is worth watching.
If Vegas keeps up performances like this, you never know, they might just continue to defy the odds.
What does this really mean?
Vegas faced off against a Vancouver team that is not only in the bottom tier of the league, but 90 percent of their veteran players have already hopped on a plane to China to play a few pre-season games over there.
The Vegas’ team that was dressed was for Sunday’s game included very few, if any, opening night roster players. They did not dress their best goalie, they did not dress their best defense, and they did not dress their best forwards.
What we did learn, however, is that there is some extreme talent in the pipeline for the Golden Knights. They have kids in their system who can score. The team looked surprisingly quick on Sunday.
Even more importantly for Vegas is to remember the long term and be patient. It would be so easy to put Glass on this team. Likewise, it would be easy to give Wong a shot in the NHL, or rush Nick Suzuki into the lineup.
It would be so easy to rush these players, but if they are smart, one would hope that these young players are only in the league this season if they truly are NHL ready.
Overall we learned that Alex Tuch should be an NHL player this year, and Shea Theodore showed why he played most of his season with Anaheim last season. There is more talent in the system for Vegas than most give them credit for.
Right now, Vegas needs to be patient and stick to the process. There is a reason they picked up James Neal and David Perron. These older guys can do the job this season. Don’t bring the young guns up until they will thrive.
If they can do that, this team is going to be a force to be reckoned within two to three years time.
In the big picture, this was just a pre-season game with little to no meaning. However, for Vegas, it is important to build off these games, but not get too far ahead of themselves.
Who do you think will be in the opening night lineup for Vegas? Can Vegas impress in the regular season, like they did today? Tell us in the comments below.
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