Of the 45 players at the Vegas Golden Knights’ first day of developmental camp Tuesday, one stood out from the rest.
It wasn’t because Dylan Ferguson was the best player on the ice, albeit he was solid.
He didn’t have a number or nameplate on his jersey. That’s to be expected of someone who was traded to the team less than 24 hours ago. Ferguson was acquired Monday in a trade with the Dallas Stars for defenseman Marc Methot.
How he heard about the trade, you ask? He was buying a new fishing rod when his agent called.
“I was actually still at home,” Ferguson said. “I hadn’t flown to Dallas yet, because camp was starting July 6. It was a lot to take in at the start, but this is a great opportunity for me.”
Ferguson was taken in the seventh round of last weekend’s NHL Draft by the Stars. He was the second goalie taken by Dallas, along with first-round selection Jake Oettinger. Dallas’ intake of goalies gave way for the team to part ways with at least one, leaving Ferguson the odd man out.
The 18-year-old goaltender had a rebound second season in 2016-17 with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, posting a 2,74 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in 31 games.
Ferguson had a GAA of 4.13 and a save percentage of .875 in only 16 starts two years ago.
“It just goes back to working in practice,” he said about his bounce-back year, crediting goalie coach Dan De Palma for believing in him. “He always told me take it one day at a time and make the practices your games. I just worked really hard in practice, and when I got the chance to play, I made the most of it.”
Ferguson won’t be playing professionally for at least for a couple more years, due to the NHL-CHL agreement. When he is eligible, he will more than likely be in Quad City to and will have a chance to compete for a spot in the goalie rotation. In time, he will learn from guys like Marc-Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard.
For now, he’s just happy to be in Vegas. We’re not sure what he’ll be doing with that fishing rod in Vegas, though.
- There’s not much to take away from the first day of developmental camp. Players worked on skating and puck-handling drills, while also taking some shots on net. As we get closer to scrimmages, we can better evaluate the talent that’s on the ice.
- Keegan Kolesar was the fastest and most fun player to watch when the second group took the ice. He has good speed and a quick wrist shot that reached the back of the net multiple times. The 20-year-old forward was acquired in a draft-day trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets and is in position to be a top prospect for the Chicago Wolves.
- Vegas’ three first-round draft picks participated in camp. Cody Glass and Erik Brannstrom were in Group 2, while Nick Suzuki stole the show in Group 1. Suzuki is going to be a fun player to watch, especially if he keeps doing things like this. Of course, Vegas would prefer those go in the net.