A Tyler Wong hat trick lifted Vegas to a win in its first preseason game
Permit us to use a single cliché here: But Sunday’s 9-4 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena was the biggest win in Golden Knights history.
Okay, that was our one cliché for the day. Forgive us, please.
Although the preseason game won’t count in the standings, there were still quite a few things to be happy with in Vegas’ victory.
1. The Tyler Wong Show
By conventional wisdom, Tyler Wong shouldn’t be the story of this game.
For one, Wong is only on an AHL contract. This means he is designated to play in the minor leagues this season, and would have to sign an entirely different NHL contract to play for the Golden Knights.
Wong started the game on the fourth line, too.
But then the kid just went out there and dominated.
Wong was unquestionably the best player on the ice on Sunday, becoming the first Golden Knights player to ever score a hat trick.
He still might be a longshot to play in the NHL season. But preseason is about controlling what you have control of, and Wong probably earned himself a longer look throughout the rest of training camp.
2. Wong wasn’t the only one
The Golden Knights elected to primarily dress its younger players, rather than veterans, on Sunday afternoon. And several of these NHL roster hopefuls made strong cases for themselves to make the Opening Night roster.
Brad Hunt, a journeyman defenseman with All-Star pedigree at the AHL level, potted three assists. Tomas Nosek, an Expansion Draft pickup from the Detroit Red Wings who dominated the AHL’s playoffs last year, did so as well, and added two assists.
Tomas Hyka continued his case for making the roster by scoring two more goals. Hyka had a goal in each of this week’s Rookie Camp games against the LA Kings, too.
Cody Glass, the first Entry Draft pick (No. 6 overall) in team history last June, had two assists. Glass now has five points in his last two games, including Wednesday’s Rookie Camp victory in LA. Fellow first-round pick Nick Suzuki added his first goal in a Golden Knights jersey as well.
In total, 12 of the Golden Knights’ 18 skaters registered points.
3. Ferguson was good when he had to be
When the Golden Knights opened the game up, goalie Dylan Ferguson got a little sloppy. But when the game was still close, he was solid and won his second straight start, including Wednesday’s 4-0 Rookie Camp win in California.
Ferguson was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the seventh round last June, and was traded to Vegas later that week.