Today the Vegas Golden Knights and General Manager George McPhee made history with signing the former 2014 NHL draft pick Reid Duke to a 3 year entry level contract. This marked franchise history with the organization.
The transaction with Reid was finalized over the weekend just days after the league and Vegas completed the paperwork that allowed the deal with the Wheat Kings forward to be done.
Both Reid and McPhee took time out of their day and participated in a conference call with members of the media and talked about the opportunity of getting the chance to potentially play for the Vegas Golden Knights and what it means for George from a General Managers standpoint.
“There’s going to be an opportunity there to make the team and I don’t expect them to hand me anything. I’m going to work hard and try and make a positive impression.”Says Reid.
The Wheat Kings forward made it clear that he does in fact he wants to earn his place with the hockey club by working hard on his game. Since playing for Kelly McCrimmon in Brandon he’s been scoring goals and putting up the points.
“When we project Reid, we think his game will evolve as he becomes a pro,” Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a tweet by the Golden Knights. “I think what’s impressive with Reid is a real high skill level and yet a guy that’s able to play a big, strong, heavy game.”
With the Wheat Kings organization Reid touched on the areas of the game in which he has improved on.
“I think I’ve become a more versatile player,” Duke says. “I’m a better two-way player who is responsible in the defensive end. I also think I understand the game better as I’ve gotten older. I see things on the ice now that I didn’t know existed three or four years ago. Everything comes with age as well.”
McPhee who is currently attending the General Managers Meetings in Baco Raton, FL praised Reid both as a hockey player and as a person.
“He can skate. He thinks the game well. He has strength which translates well at the next level and he faced adversity by being drafted in the sixth round and it took it head on. He’s a scrappy player and he embodies what we want in our players — he’s talented, he’s a man of character and he never gives up.”
George pointed out that Reid understands what’s in store for him in trying to make the Vegas Golden Knights. He also touched on the maturity that Reid at his age has along with his physical strength will help in the task ahead from transiting from juniors to the professional league.
“He’s ready to do this to turn pro and compete for a job and were looking forward to watching him on the ice and in the rest of the playoffs here and our summer camp.” Says McPhee. ”
At the conclusion of his current season with Brandon he will report to the franchises development camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center in July.