It’s easy to forget that behind his plush beard, Alex Tuch remains one of the Golden Knights’ youngest players.
The 23-year-old right wing reached a minor milestone Thursday, making his 200th career NHL appearance when the Knights hosted the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
“I kind of still feel like a rookie because I’m one of the youngest guys on the team,” Tuch said. “It’s a pretty cool stat. One hundred was big, and now 200, it’s flown by. Hopefully, multiply that by eight.”
Tuch is the 18th player from the first round and 25th overall from the 2014 draft class to reach 200 games.
His 104 career points (42 goals, 62 assists) entering Thursday’s game rank 19th in his draft class.
Tuch is the second-youngest player on the current roster, ahead of 23-year-old defenseman Zach Whitecloud, who appeared in his sixth career game Tuesday. All but six of Tuch’s appearances have come with the Knights.
Tuch had seven goals and eight assists through the first 41 games but has struggled in 2020. He went nine straight games without a point to open January and had two points in 15 games since Jan. 2.
Coach Peter DeBoer is hopeful Tuch can find the form that produced 20 goals and 52 points in his second full NHL season. He was expected to join center Cody Eakin and left wing Chandler Stephenson on the third line against the Blues.
“It’s just getting that confidence back and getting him back to feeling good,” DeBoer said. “He’s a key guy for us. It’s important that we get a third line there that can provide some depth and some real mismatches for us against other teams.”
Tooling along the main drag
As any Las Vegas local can attest, driving near the Strip can be an adventure. DeBoer found out the hard way.
DeBoer said he and assistant coach Steve Spott got lost Saturday while driving together to T-Mobile Arena after taking a wrong turn.
“We ended up getting off and going back down the Strip to get to the rink,” DeBoer said after Thursday’s morning skate. “We won’t make that mistake tonight.”
Sound the siren
New UNLV football coach Marcus Arroyo will crank the rally siren before the start of Thursday’s game.
— UNLV Athletics (@UNLVathletics) February 13, 2020
Arroyo’s appearance is part of a UNLV-themed evening, with the Fremont Cannon on display on the concourse. The school’s cheer team and dance squad and mascot Hey Reb also will be part of the pregame festivities at Toshiba Plaza.
Contact David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.