The Golden Knights have two defensemen on their roster who are former first-round picks.
One of them, Luca Sbisa, who was selected 19th by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008, makes up one half of the team’s top defensive pairing. The other, Shea Theodore, who was selected 26th by the Anaheim Ducks in 2013, watched Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena in a suit and tie.
Theodore, 22, has had a tough stretch since being recalled Oct. 30, playing in three games while being a healthy scratch in three others. The second-youngest skater on the team is still trying to build his confidence in practice and in whatever ice time he gets in games.
“When I’m confident, I’m making hard plays and I’m (playing) hard all over the ice, and that’s when I’m at my best,” Theodore said. “I feel like I haven’t quite found that yet, but I’m here and working hard every day.”
Theodore was recalled by the Golden Knights after an impressive stint with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. The defenseman scored five goals and had 11 points in 11 games with the Wolves, but he’s still adjusting to the pace of play in the NHL.
In three games with the Golden Knights, Theodore has one assist and carries a plus/minus of minus-1.
”Shea was sort of dominating his level, but now needs to come here and adjust to this level,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said Thursday. “And he will. He’s a good player.”
The Golden Knights wore special camouflage jerseys during warmups as part of their Military Appreciation/Remembrance Day. Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, a similar holiday observed in the Commonwealth of Nations, including Canada, are Saturday.
The team sold some of the jerseys in a silent auction, with the proceeds benefiting the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation and Folded Flag Foundation. The team’s foundation also hosted a raffle to benefit the Metropolitan Police Department and initiatives that support the military.
Goaltender Maxime Lagace started his seventh straight game for the Golden Knights on Friday, and there’s no indication he will leave the net when the team’s two-game trip begins Tuesday in Edmonton.
Coach Gerard Gallant said Friday morning there was “nothing new” to report on the status of injured goalies Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Oscar Dansk (lower body) and Malcolm Subban (lower body).
All three did not practice Friday.
Winnipeg became the first Canadian NHL team to play at T-Mobile Arena, meaning for the first time “O Canada” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” were played before the opening faceoff.