Las Vegas–Today after the Vegas Golden Knights held their morning skate session ahead of their matchup against the Calgary Flames we caught up with forward Tomas Hyka.
Hyka who was recently called up from the Chicago Wolves organization by Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee, made his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks where they eventually lost by a 2-0 final.
In his first NHL game, Hyka logged 11:37 of ice time, played up in down in the lineup, to getting some power play experience of 1:42. He also recorded two shots on net against the Ducks.
With Hyka he had spent the majority of the season down in the minors with the Wolves organization where he is coached by Rocky Thompson.
He’s played in 35 games under Thompson this year where he’s been able to find the back of the net 13 times, tallied 21 assists for 35 points and is a +1.
In goals he is in the top three among scorers with Chicago along with forwards Teem Pulkkinen, Paul Thompson, and Brandon Pirri.
In speaking with him today, we asked Hyka what it is like for him getting to be coached by Thompson down on the farm.
“Obviously he’s a good coach, he won the Memorial Cup last year, he’s hard for us, he’s given me a lot of opportunities on the ice, that’s what I need and I’m really appreciated for that.” Hyka on being coached by Thompson
Since Hyka been down in the minor’s with the Chicago Wolves for this most part of the season before he made is long awaited NHL debut earlier in the week, he’s had the opportunity in playing with the likes of Pulkkinen and Pirri.
Pirri for the Wolves is the team leader in goals scored this season with 18.
“Both really good players (Pirri injured now), he’s been really good for us, he’s a great shooter especially on the power play, when I find him he has a quick release, (Pulkkinen segment), Pulki has a good shot as well, smart player, it’s nice to play with these guys.” Hyka said with compliments to both Pulkkinen and Pirri.
Pulkkinen with Chicago is currently ranked #2 in total points with 36 and is right behind team leader T.J. Tynan who has 42 of his own.
For Chicago Wolves they had the pleasure with having a veteran presence in their lineup with longtime NHLer Jason Garrison.
Garrison at the beginning for the Golden Knights was named as part of the 6 Alternate Captains rotation but at the start of Vegas’s inaugural season the former 2016 Stanley Cup Finalists was sent down to the Wolves to get his game back.
In 39 games patrolling the blueline for the Wolves he has scored 4 goals, 17 assists for 21 points and is currently a +2.
With Hyka still learning the North American style of hockey, he’s been fortunate to lean on the steady leadership that Garrison has been able to provide with his 538 games of NHL experience.
“Oh yeah for sure he’s got a big word in the dressing room, he’s a big guy and everybody’s listening, a really good guy.” Hyka on Garrison.
In his debut NHL game with the Golden Knights, Hyka talked to us about the experience in getting that first game under his belt.
“It was good, first NHL game, felt pretty good, it wasn’t my best game but I think I didn’t do so bad, hopefully tonight it’s going to be better.” Hyka said.
One of the shots that he put on net in late stages of the third period against Anaheim was a setup feed by top line forward Jonathan Marchessault with Hyka right in front of veteran goaltender Ryan Miller.
With that setup pass by Marchessault, Hyka came close at recording his first ever NHL goal but Miller had other ideas and ended up stopping the puck off of a point blank shot.
“I almost buried it, it was a really good chance for me, hopefully if I get a chance tonight again like that I will score.” Says Hyka.