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There’s been no post-holiday slowdown for defenseman Lukas Cormier. He began January by scoring his first NHL point in his NHL debut, and he concluded it by leading all Silver Knights’ defensemen in scoring.

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy even trusted Cormier, an NHL rookie, enough to quarterback the Golden Knights’ first power-play unit, a trust that mirrors the Silver Knights’ coaching staff’s high praise for his play.

“Corms brings everything to us,” said Head Coach Ryan Craig. “He’s a transporter of the puck for us, he’s a hard defender, and he’s a competitive guy. That’s what we’re looking for with all of our guys, and that’s why he was able to get an opportunity to showcase his skillset up there.”

That chance paid dividends not only for Cormier, but for the Golden Knights. His primary assist on Eichel’s power-play goal helped the VGK snap a losing skid with a crucial 5-2 win over the New York Islanders.

“Cormier was good in transition,” said Cassidy after the home-ice victory. “We only had one power play, so he made a nice play to [Jack Eichel] by getting middle ice. It seems like a little thing, but he forced their kill to shift and got his first NHL point. Cormier played the game in front of him. He didn’t chase it, he didn’t get out of position…things that younger guys sometimes do when things happen fast out there.”

All players dream of making their NHL debuts, but to meaningfully contribute to them remains an even bigger personal success.

“It was fun to be out there,” added Cormier. “It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming of for the last couple of years, to play my first NHL game. It was everything I expected and more and it was a surreal kind of memory. That point on top of it and obviously the team getting the win was huge. It was just a great night.”

Cormier was one of several younger players from the Silver Knights to be called up before the All-Star Break. Forward Brendan Brisson, in addition to goaltenders Jiri Patera and Isaiah Saville, have also been essential reinforcements for their parent club. Those chances have provided plenty of celebrations, with HSK’s young core eager to support each other’s successes.

“Corms is a great player on the ice,” said Brisson after his own NHL debut. “I love to play with him…I was super excited to see he got that point in his debut. If you need something, he’s always there and you can rely on him. He’s everything you want in a friend and teammate.”

“He’s probably my best friend. We actually lived together last season. He still lives right down the street from me in the same complex now, so we’re always together.”

“I think we’re just making the best of this opportunity,” added Cormier. “I know Briss got his first NHL goal. I was so pumped for him to see that on the bus after our game. I was just really happy for him. We’re really close so it’s good to support each other. It’s fun, we’re all trying to make the best out of our games and enjoy it.”

And although his NHL stint was brief, with Cormier playing just two games for Vegas, his play for Henderson has continued to remind the coaching staff why he earned that shot. Over the Silver Knights’ four-game road trip to Coachella and Tucson, he tallied five points (2G, 3A). But despite a month of professional success, a drive to continue improving remains at the forefront of Cormier’s mind.

“I don’t know, Sometimes you get the bounce, sometimes you don’t. I think there are still some things I can improve in my game lately,” he said. “I don’t think it’s been perfect, but I go into games with the same mindset: keep working hard, because we have a great lineup every night. So I know I always need to bring my best game.”

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