It’s easy to forget that behind his plush beard, Alex Tuch remains one of the Golden Knights’ youngest players.
The 23-year-old right wing reached a minor milestone Thursday, making his 200th career NHL appearance when the Knights hosted the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
“I kind of still feel like a rookie because I’m one of the youngest guys on the team,” Tuch said before the game. “It’s a pretty cool stat. One hundred was big, and now 200, it’s flown by. Hopefully, multiply that by eight.”
Tuch is the 18th player from the first round and 25th overall from the 2014 draft class to reach 200 games.
His 104 career points (42 goals, 62 assists) entering Thursday’s game rank 19th in his draft class.
Tuch is the second-youngest player on the current roster, ahead of 23-year-old defenseman Zach Whitecloud, who appeared in his sixth career game Tuesday. All but six of Tuch’s appearances have come with the Knights.
Tuch had seven goals and eight assists through his first 41 games but has struggled in 2020. He went nine straight games without a point to open January, and before Thursday, had two points in 15 games since Jan. 2.
Coach Peter DeBoer is hopeful Tuch can find the form that produced 20 goals and 52 points in his second full NHL season. He joined center Cody Eakin and left wing Chandler Stephenson on the third line against the Blues.
“It’s just getting that confidence back and getting him back to feeling good,” DeBoer said. “He’s a key guy for us. It’s important that we get a third line there that can provide some depth and some real mismatches for us against other teams.”
Tooling along the main drag
As any Las Vegas local can attest, driving near the Strip can be an adventure. DeBoer found out the hard way.
DeBoer said he and assistant coach Steve Spott got lost Saturday while driving together to T-Mobile Arena after taking a wrong turn.
“We ended up getting off and going back down the Strip to get to the rink,” DeBoer said after Thursday’s morning skate. “We won’t make that mistake tonight.”
Sound the siren
New UNLV football coach Marcus Arroyo sounded the rally siren before the start of Thursday’s game.
Things to do when you’re the new @unlvfootball coach:
-Visit the Welcome to Las Vegas sign
-Check out the sights around town
-Fire up the crowd at a Vegas Golden Knights game
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 14, 2020
Arroyo’s appearance was part of a UNLV-themed evening, with the Fremont Cannon on display on the concourse. The school’s cheer team and dance squad and mascot Hey Reb also were part of the pregame festivities at Toshiba Plaza.
Glass plays in AHL
Forward Cody Glass was in the lineup Thursday for the Chicago Wolves during their American Hockey League game against Milwaukee.
Glass had not played since Jan. 4 when he sustained a right leg injury against St. Louis. He was reassigned to the minors Saturday.
Alex Tuch file
Position: Right wing
Born: May 10, 1996
Birthplace: Syracuse, N.Y.
Draft: 2014, Minnesota, first round (18th overall)
Stats: 7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points