LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Golden Knights have a lot of reasons to forget Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Wild, but one VGK rookie will always see it a little different.
Peyton Krebs, a 2019 first-round draft pick, made his National Hockey League debut Monday night, playing 15 shifts and logging 9:05 of ice time, while also picking up his first NHL point, a primary assist on Alex Tuch's goal late in the first period.
"It was obviously a really fun day, pretty emotional too," said Krebs. "It's been a long time coming. Not having my parents here sucked, but it's FaceTime before the game, few tears for sure, special moment for my family and I. It was exciting during the game, just trying to get the nerves out. By the second period I felt really good and every time I got on the ice just tried to make a difference."
Despite giving up two goals in a 26-second span in the final minute and half, costing them the game, Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer had nothing but praise for 20-year old rookie.
"I thought he was excellent tonight," said DeBoer. "When you consider the circumstances just coming back from the junior season, he really hadn't skated until pregame skate today since last Wednesday and he jumped right in with both feet. Looked confident, made plays, I wish I could have gotten him out there a little more, he deserved to play a little bit more the way he was playing."
For Krebs, this is the third hockey league he has played in the last three months. He started the year with the Henderson Silver Knights, putting up five points in his first five pro games. Once the Western Hockey League season started, he was sent back to his junior team in Winnipeg where he led the league in scoring with 43 points in 24 games. Once the WHL season came to a close he was soon called up to the taxi squad of the Golden Knights, making his debut on Monday.
"For me the bigger bodies, in junior there's not 30-year old men coming at you, that's the biggest difference," said Krebs. "I think the speed felt good for me, felt fine in that sense and just getting confidence in the systems, what Pete wants us to do on the ice."
It may have been his first game, but this is not his first experience with the big club. In the 2020 playoffs, Krebs was on the taxi squad during the Golden Knights run to the Western Conference Final and it's their where he made his first impression on his now teammates.
"He definitely belongs in the NHL," said Golden Knights forward, Jonathan Marchessault. "He's ready for that. Obviously it's his first game, the best is to come and as a young guy your mindset should be you're never satisfied, you want more. I think he's going to be a big part of that run that we're going to be in a few weeks and if he keeps going that way I think it's going to be tough to keep him out of the lineup."