David Perron

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Oilers, Golden Knights, Cali teams, and more in PHT’s Pacific preview

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Let’s cut to the chase and wrap up these division previews.

Check out these other previews: Atlantic DivisionCentral Division, Metropolitan DivisionPHT’s picks and predictions.

Anaheim Ducks

Poll/looking to make the leap

Arizona Coyotes

Poll/looking to make the leap

Calgary Flames

Poll/looking to make the leap

Edmonton Oilers

Poll/looking to make the leap

Los Angeles Kings

Poll/looking to make the leap

San Jose Sharks

Poll/looking to make the leap

Vancouver Canucks

Poll/looking to make the leap

Vegas Golden Kngihts

Poll/looking to make the leap

Cody Eakin scores first goal in Vegas for Golden Knights

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The Golden Knights scored their first goal at T-Mobile Arena, and it took them less than four minutes to do it.

If you had Cody Eakin in the “first Golden Knight to score in Vegas” pool, you’d have been correct. The former Dallas Star beat Jack Campbell with a one-timer during Vegas’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

David Perron picked up the only assist on Eakin’s goal.

“It was exciting to get the first goal,” said Eakin, per the Las Vegas Reivew-Journal. “The fans were excited, and it got them going right away. It was fun to be part of.”

Here’s the goal:

William Carrier also scored for the Golden Knights, but Kings forward Brooks Laich netted the game-winning goal in overtime.

Golden Knights score 9 goals, rout Canucks in first preseason game

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It may not have counted in the official standings, but the Vegas Golden Knights hit the ice for a game for the first time on Sunday afternoon and put on quite a show.

The Golden Knights absolutely obliterated the Vancouver Canucks by a 9-4 margin in their first exhibition game thanks to four-goal outbursts in the first and third periods.

Leading the way for the Golden Knights on Sunday was 21-year-old forward Tyler Wong.

Wong not only opened the scoring for the Golden Knights just 4:58 into the game, he added two more goals later in the game to complete the hat trick. He also picked up an assist for a four-point night.

Nick Suzuki, one of three first-round picks by the Golden Knights, also scored in the win.

Both teams used fairly bare bones rosters that were made up mostly of prospects, but Vegas’ young players clearly ended up getting the better of the play with nine goals from six different players and 38 shots on goal.

Vegas didn’t have Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith or David Perron in the lineup, while the Canucks didn’t use Henrik or Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Bo Horvat, Thomas Vanek, or any of the regular defenseman.

The Golden Knights continue their preseason on Tuesday night when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

They will play their first home preseason game on Tuesday, September 26 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Reid Duke, Golden Knights’ first player, excited for start of training camp

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One of the more intriguing training camps to watch this month is going to be the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, simply because as the NHL’s newest team they are the ultimate unknown.

Starting with a blank slate and building an organization literally from the ground up it is going to be fascinating to see how the first roster unfolds and where they go in their growth of a franchise.

The player that is perhaps most looking forward to the opportunity is 21-year-old forward Reid Duke, who was signed to an entry-level contract back on March 6 to become the first player in the history of the franchise.

He talked to NHL.com this past week about the rare opportunity to be the starting point for a franchise.

“It’s amazing just being able to be there right from the beginning and watch everything unfold,” the 21-year-old said before a training session in his hometown Friday. “It’s so exciting. It really just makes you a fan of the game again. It’s incredible to see the reaction they’ve got, the acceptance from people that aren’t even really involved with hockey yet … just the ability to take a city that’s not exactly known for that and to change their perspective on what life can be like in Las Vegas. It’s really cool to be a part of that.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to go there and be a go-to guy and really prove to them why they chose me.”

Before he gets to training camp, Duke will also be taking part in the team’s prospect camp this upcoming Thursday.

Duke was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth-round of the 2014 draft. He is an intriguing prospect for the Golden Knights because he has been a productive player in the Western Hockey League in recent seasons, and is coming off of a 37-goal, 71-point season in 2016-17 for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

He has no pro hockey experience and even though the Golden Knights are an expansion team with a bare bones roster he probably won’t make the team directly out of camp. But given the organizations lack of depth it seems reasonable to assume that we will see him at the NHL level at some point this season when injuries strike or veteran players on expiring contracts (the Golden Knights have a lot of them, especially at forward including James Neal, David Perron and Jonathan Marchessault) get traded.

Poll: Will the Golden Knights be the worst team in the NHL?

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This post is part of Golden Knights Day on PHT…

In professional sports, expansion teams usually don’t do so well in their first couple of years, and it’s pretty easy to see why.

Expansion teams have to pick up leftover players that other teams decide are expendable for a variety of reasons. Also, developing chemistry with 20-plus guys doesn’t happen over night, especially when other teams have been together for multiple years.

With all that being said, it’s easy to see why most of the hockey world expects the Golden Knights to struggle out of the gate.

General manager George McPhee did a relatively good job putting the roster together. He also managed to acquire two additional first round draft picks via trade.

There’s some interesting names on the roster. Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, David Perron, Vadim Shipachyov and Reilly Smith will be counted on to score goals, while Nate Schmidt, Jason Garrison, Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore will serve as important options on the blue line.

Between the pipes, the Golden Knights were able to get their hands on Marc-Andre Fleury from Pittsburgh. Fleury, who has three Stanley Cups on his resume, has already become the face of the franchise. Former Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard will serve as his backup.

The last time NHL had expansion teams was back in 2000-01, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild came into the league. Believe it or not, neither team finished in the basement of the NHL standings. The Jackets finished 23rd of 30 in their first year, while the Wild finished in 25th position. By no means were those teams good, but they weren’t the worst teams in the league (the Lightning and Islanders were the two worst teams that year).

So, how many teams will be worse than Vegas this year?

The first team that jumps off the page in that regard has to be the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs were just awful last year, and they didn’t do a whole lot to get better. If someone finishes behind the Golden Knights, it may very well be them.

The Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes and New Jersey Devils also have to be considered when talking about who can finish below the expansion side this year.

Alright, it’s your turn to have your say. Feel free to vote in the poll below and leave your opinion in the comments section, too.