Golden Knights’ defenseman Deryk Engelland is in his ninth season in the NHL and turns 36 in less than 2 months, but you would not know it by seeing him on the ice.
Engelland barreled through the Oilers’ defense during the first period of Thursday night’s video game at T-Mobile Arena, sculpting his method to the crease where he fired a backhand shot at goaltender Web cam Talbot.
Talbot made the conserve, but Ryan Carpenter buried the rebound to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.
With the assist, Engelland notched a career-high with 18 points on the season with 25 video games still to play.
“I for sure knew it,” Engelland stated about the record number, after tying his career-high with an assist in Tuesday night’s win over the Blackhawks. “It’s a big achievement, but I wouldn’t have actually stayed if I didn’t get it.”
The veteran defender is three years older than any skater on the Golden Knights however is playing the very best hockey of his career. He has actually jumped into the offense with consistency, and Thursday night he assisted trigger the Golden Knights in their 4-1 win over the Oilers.
“He plays our system real well. He joins the rush a lot,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “I believe he’s readied all year, solid all year and that benefits him.”
Engelland attributes his spike in indicate the extra playing time he’s received with Vegas. He is averaging 19:58 of ice time per video game, which is 4 minutes more than his profession average of 15:40.
“It’s easy to play with confidence when you’re just rolling 6 defensemen and everyone is playing with self-confidence,” Engelland said. “That’s a big part of the game. When you play with confidence, you make those little plays that you might not otherwise.”
He’s on rate to shatter his career highs for shots on objective and total shot attempts, and said he feels as fast as he’s ever been.
“Foot speed has been important for me in my profession, so I try to deal with that a lot in the summers and try to get faster,” Engelland said. “With the video game altering, getting more youthful and much faster, you need to alter to persevere.”
Engelland has actually also invested significantly less time in the charge box this season. He balanced 69 charge minutes per season over the previous seven years, topping out at 123 in 2010-11, but just has 20 this season.
“There aren’t as numerous men to fight in the league any longer,” Engelland stated, laughing. “I’m just aiming to be a physical existence out there and still have that part of my game, however haven’t gotten in a single fight this year.”
As a group, the Golden Knights have actually only been involved in 7 fights this season, which is tied for second least in the NHL.
They were connected with Winnipeg for the least league-wide till Colin Miller dropped the gloves Thursday night against Edmonton’s Jujhar Khaira.
“(Combating) is not a huge part of our video game,” Gallant said. “We will defend ourselves, but it’s not a huge part of our video game. We wish to play the game set.”
Vegas also averages the second fewest charge minutes overall per video game in the NHL.
“We have people that can address the bell if need be, but we just attempt to play hockey,” said forward Erik Haula, who scored his 22nd objective of the season to provide the Golden Knights a 4-0 lead in the 3rd period.
Outstanding play is another reason the Golden Knights, and Engelland, haven’t been involved in many fights.
“When teams are up the people don’t wish to combat and give up momentum,” Engelland said.
Vegas is 23-3-0 this season for an NHL-best.884 win percentage when scoring first. The Golden Knights are likewise 20-2-1 when leading after 2 periods.
When General Supervisor George McPhee selected Engelland in the expansion draft, he understood he was getting the only existing NHL player with a residency in Las Vegas. Even he couldn’t have expected him to have the best season of his profession.
“I feel great,” Engelland said. “I think this is without a doubt my finest year all around and hopefully it continues that way.”