If you made a list of breakout rookies this season, Tyler Wong was not among them. The 21 year old undrafted prospect carried the Vegas Golden Knights in what would eventually be a lopsided 9-4 victory against the Vancouver Canucks tonight in the Rogers Arena.
So who is this emerging weapon on the Golden Knights?
Wong collected 109 points (51 goals, 58 assists) in 69 games for WHL Lethbridge last season, before latching on with Vegas as an undrafted free agent. We have yet to see if he will crack the lineup out of camp, but performances such as this leave a strong impression.
His HockeyDB describes him as a talented two way forward ‘that has the skill to consistently create offence and the defensive awareness to limit the opposition’s time and space’. Seems like a pretty solid candidate to make an impression out of camp.
Vegas also holds young rookies expected to compete for a roster spot – Reid Duke, and Nick Suzuki as well as Cody Glass are the most touted players in the pipeline.
Wong recorded the first goal of the franchise, as well as the first hat-trick of the franchise. While it is still pre-season and the two rosters are far from complete, this is a huge development, otherwise unpredictable outcome for the Vegas Franchise.
Wong also had significant time on the power play for Vegas, recording one of his goals with the man advantage.
Keep in mind this is still pre-season so the final rosters for either team were not present. Noticeably absent was Marc Andre Fleury, David Perrron, James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb. All these players listed above are almost guaranteed a spot on the final roster as they were full time NHL’ers on their respective franchises pre-expansion.
The spectacle between the two teams combined for 47 penalty minutes, 71 shots on goal, and, of course, the 13 goals. Pretty entertaining start to the franchise, as well as the NHL season.
The Islanders also faced off against the Flyers tonight. The score ended 3-2 in favour of the Isles. Both teams played 2 back-up goaltenders that split the game fairly evenly. Neither team dressed the majority of their rosters.