There is little question Golden Knights prospect Nicolas Hague would have been awarded the win had his fight against San Jose’s Evan Weinger gone to the judges.
Hague knows there’s still room for improvement.
The talented 19-year-old defenseman came out unscathed after landing a series of hard right uppercuts in the fracas, which occurred during the second period of the Knights’ 5-4 loss in the Vegas Rookie Faceoff at City National Arena on Sunday night.
“I think I connected with a few,” Hague said. “My hand’s a little bit bloody, but I felt like he hit me once and then after I dropped my gloves, I don’t think he even looked at me again.”
Hague said he might go back and watch film to see where he can improve his technique even more, especially since he could be playing in the so-called fight capital of the world for some time.
“That has been something I’ve done in the past actually, just to kind of see maybe what I can do differently,” he laughed about breaking down his fight on tape. “It is a part of the game you can improve on. We’ll see if (rookie team coach Rocky Thompson) pulls me aside and asks me to go over that one.”
Hague is no stranger to dropping the gloves.
He drew a suspension during the 2017 Ontario Hockey League playoffs for his role in a fight. Hague is coming off an impressive season that saw him named the OHL’s top defenseman.
He already has scored four goals in two games this week. He tallied 35 goals in 67 OHL games last season, the most by a defenseman in the league in two decades.
Forward Gage Quinney is making the most of his return to his native Las Vegas.
He has scored a goal for the Knights in each of the first two rookie games and hopes to use the success as a springboard to an impressive training camp next week.
Quinney believes he can make the team, which would be a dream come true in a city where he grew up having a hard time just finding a rink for practice.
“If you told me a couple years ago I’d be with an NHL organization in Vegas, I’d have called you crazy,” he said. “The way everything panned out and the way the city is with the hockey team, it’s great to see and it’s even better being able to represent them.”
Thompson has liked what he’s seen from the 23-year-old who had 33 points in 57 AHL games last season.
“I thought he’s played excellent in both games,” Thompson said. “He can blend in with anybody and complement those guys. He’s a good hockey player. I understand why now he played where he did last year with Wilkes-Barre and every day he’s taking steps in the right direction. I’m excited for him.”
Pacioretty trade moves odds
The acquisition of forward Max Pacioretty makes the Knights instantly better, at least according to the oddsmakers.
Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said late Sunday the odds on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup dropped from 12-1 to 10-1.
The property also moved the price on the Knights to make the playoffs from minus 250 to minus 300. Sherman said the points total prop moved from 98.5 to 99.5 based on the news.