Some NHL history was made on Monday, as the Vegas Golden Knights announced they’d completed their first transaction as an NHL franchise.
Vegas signed free agent forward Reid Duke to a three-year entry level contract, making the 21-year-old forward the first-ever Golden Knights player. Duke was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2014 but never signed.
Duke is enjoying his best season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League with 35 goals and 67 points in 54 games. It’s the second straight season that Duke has put up at least 30 goals. He leads the Wheat Kings in points, ahead of likely first overall 2017 NHL draft pick Nolan Patrick.
.@GoldenKnights Vegas assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon is owner of the Wheat Kings and would obviously know Duke quite well. He has 67 pts in 54 WHL games.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 6, 2017
It’s fairly likely that Duke could make the Golden Knights’ roster next season. If not, he’ll report to their minor league affiliates. Vegas has yet to find minor league affiliates in either the American Hockey League or the ECHL.