After signing with the Vegas Golden Knights on March 8th – following the completion of his NCAA career with Bemidji State University, Whitecloud spent time practicing with the Golden Knights, before finally lacing up with Vegas on Thursday, April 5th.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Brandonite spent two years with Bemidji, after playing two seasons with the Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
On Thursday, the Knights gave Whitecloud the prototypical ‘rookie treatment’ by allowing the 21-year-old to take a twirl around Rogers Arena in Edmonton prior to his National Hockey League debut.
The extra lap must have given Whitecloud a little extra jump in his step Thursday, as the blueliner played a stellar first NHL game, putting up a +3 plus/minus in nearly 17 minutes of ice time.
“You can’t be out of character,” Whitecloud said following his debut. “That’s the biggest thing, being someone you’re not, and I’m not going to do that. I’m going to do my best to be responsible and help the team win.”
Unfortunately Vegas fell 4-3 in Edmonton, but Whitecloud and the Golden Knights will do battle with the Calgary Flames in the late game on Hockey Night in Canada from Saddledome on Saturday evening.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Perry Nelson/Bruce Fedyck