This past Monday, Manitoban Keegan Kolesar put pen to paper on a fresh two-year NHL contract worth $725K annually with the Vegas Golden Knights. Following a whirlwind of a year that saw many ups and downs, the 23-year-old forward is ready to stick with Vegas, and thankful for the opportunity presented by Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
“I am beyond happy that I can be back with Vegas for another two years,” Kolesar told Game On. “All the chips have finally fallen into place here and I’m really excited to get the season going and have this opportunity again. I wasn’t really too worried about getting the deal done, but you know, it is a contract and you never really know what could happen, but you always want the best outcome. Everything that my agent formatted and we agreed upon was perfect for me and it was perfect for Vegas as well. I couldn’t be happier to sign that yesterday morning.”
The former Seattle Thunderbird split the 2019-20 season between the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves and the Golden Knights. He made his NHL debut against Columbs, the team that drafted him, before earning another call-up for the 2020 postseason bubble in Edmonton.
“It’s been wild,” Kolesar said of the second half of the 2019-20 hockey season. “I first came home in March and it was nothing but golf and training with my buddies. And then I got the call and headed out to Vegas for training camp before leaving for the bubble in Edmonton. That was a fun time. I had it pretty easy.”
“I’m a single guy and I don’t have a wife, girlfriend or kids to worry about, so it made it a lot easier for me to be in that kind of situation. Obviously it was tough for the dads out there, for the guys who have babies on the way or just saw their babies born and had to say goodbye to them for the next few months. It was a wild run, and I just got home September 13thand soaked up as much golf as I possibly could before the snow came here today.”
Now a veteran of 175 AHL games, Kolesar has 35 goals, 79 points and 205 penalty minutes to his name. With a strong Manitoban flavour running through the Golden Knights, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound forward will be hungry for the opportunity to crack the big league squad come training camp this December in Nevada.
“Now with the contract being done, it’s taken my mind off a little bit of worry and I can get back to the gym and get back on track with everything here,” he said. “I now get two chances at playing for the Golden Knights in the NHL, so I’m very happy that they have that trust in me to sign me to the two-year deal. I want to prove to them that they made the right decision in adding me to the team and helping them win. Now after signing my contract I’m just even more excited to get this season going already.”