Updated September 12, 2023 - 2:20 pm
The Golden Knights added some competition before the start of training camp next week.
The Knights announced Tuesday they signed left wing Maxime Comtois to a professional tryout agreement, meaning he will be given a chance to make the team in the preseason. Comtois would need to sign a contract with the club if he wins a roster spot.
The 24-year-old has proven capable of providing a team some secondary scoring and a bit of physicality. Comtois scored 86 points in 210 games over five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, including nine goals and 10 assists in 64 games last season.
He has been an agitator, too. Comtois has dropped the gloves 11 times in his career, according to the website Hockey Fights. That includes a bout with Knights defenseman Shea Theodore on Dec. 31, 2019.
Comtois also has 285 hits in the past three seasons, which would rank fourth among Knights forwards behind Keegan Kolesar, William Carrier and Ivan Barbashev. He became a free agent this summer when the Ducks decided not to give him a qualifying offer to retain his rights.
The Knights have an opening at left wing that Comtois could fill with Reilly Smith being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 28. They have two young forwards in Paul Cotter and Pavel Dorofeyev who could also fight to fill that role.
The team hasn’t announced an official start date to training camp, but its first preseason game is Sept. 24.
Holden returns to organization
The Knights welcomed back a familiar face Tuesday.
The team announced that former defenseman Nick Holden will join the organization’s player development staff, working with prospects on the blue line.
Holden, who spent three seasons with the Knights before being traded to Ottawa in 2021, is a good role model for younger players to learn from. The 36-year-old was undrafted, but played 654 NHL games for six teams before retiring this offseason.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a statement Holden was “widely respected” by teammates, coaches and the front office. He signed with the Knights as a free agent in 2018 and scored 31 points in 139 games, helping the team reach the NHL semifinals in 2020 and 2021.
“Playing for Vegas was an amazing time in my career for both me and my family,” Holden said. “To have the opportunity to rejoin this organization is unbelievable.”