Five days after they earned official standing in the NHL by closing on their $500 million expansion fee, the Vegas Golden Knights have signed their first player.
Remember the name Reid Duke, because he will win you many drinks at bar trivia in the future. The Golden Knights signed the 21-year-old forward on Monday to an entry-level deal making franchise history with their first transaction as the NHL’s 31st franchise.
Duke, who will now become a Knight, has spent the last three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL and scored 113 goals and recorded 250 points in 306 games. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in Round 6 of the 2014 NHL Draft.
It didn’t take a crazy amount of scouting for the Golden Knights to take a liking to Duke. Vegas assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon owns the Wheat Kings and coached the forward, so he’s gotten to watch him play plenty during his time in junior hockey.
“I think what’s impressive with Reid is a real high skill level and yet a guy that’s able to play a big, strong, heavy game,” McCrimmon said. “When we project Reid, we think his game will evolve as he becomes a pro. We believe he’s going to be an NHL player. It’s real exciting for us to be bringing Reid into the Golden Knights organization.”
Duke will join the Golden Knights to prepare for their summer development camp after Brandon’s season comes to an end.
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