Las Vegas–Tonight, the Vegas Golden Knights returned to ice at “City National Arena” for their post bye week practice and we caught up with James Neal on his take of being one of the first players to receive “NHL All Star” honors.

For Neal, this is the third trip to the “NHL All Star Game” over the course of his playing career. The two previous times he represented the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 2012 and most recently with Nashville just two years ago.

“It’s an honor, we’ve had a great year so far, there’s more than enough guys is this room deserving of going to Tampa, it’s an honor for myself and Flower to go, it’s going to be fun representing Vegas.” Neal said on his third “NHL All Star Game” nod.

During the “NHL All Star Game” and weekend festivities players from all over the league get the opportunity to share in the experience with one another while setting aside being rivals for those few days and just have fun.

“It’s really cool to be around the best players in the game, I think for those guys and guys that been before you become friends with a lot of them, at the same time they put on a great show for everyone and the fans, when I was a part of it in Nashville the city really enjoys it, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” Says Neal on heading to the Tampa for the 2018 “NHL All Star Game”.

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Back in 2012 the NHL had the players fantasy draft where it was Team Alfredsson vs. Team Chara as the Senators were the hosts of the “2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game”. Neal was picked in the 14th round at 28th overall in that draft by Team Alfredsson.

“There all different, I think when your in a city that’s putting on a great show for their fans and their fanbase it’s special, it’s different in every city we go to, it’s just an honor to be a part of.” Neal said reflecting on his experience at the “2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game”.

With the second half of the regular season getting underway tomorrow for the Golden Knights, they face Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, and Vegas currently sits in 1st place in the Pacific Division as well as the Western Conference at 60 points at a 29-10-2 record, and Neal talked about getting right back at it.

“Continue to get better, I think for us we’ve come along way so far, we got to continue to grow as a team, I think just coming to the rink everyday and how much fun it’s been and our fanbase and the way our fans reacted to our team, how cool it’s been to play in front of our fans at T-Mobile, so looking forward to that and continue success.” Neal on the second half of the season.

The teams leading scorer this season for the Golden Knights at 22 goals before the break is 25-year-old Swedish forward in William Karlsson and Neal was complimentary to how much of an asset he’s been for the team over the course of the year.

“He’s been great all year, a guy that we didn’t know enough about before he got here and finally got a chance to play where he deserves to, him and Marchy and Smithy have been our top line all year so they’ve been great.” Neal on Karlsson and the performance of the top line.

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