Fifth-string anything isn’t normally the top bullet point on a resume.
But for Kamloops Blazers goalie Dylan Ferguson, the ranking has already given him a leg up on most of his Western Hockey League peers.
The 19-year-old netminder was in a Kamloops Boston Pizza on a late October Monday, watching the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, play in New York against the Islanders.
Ferguson and his teammates had won their most recent game on Oct. 28 – a 3-2 overtime win against Tri-City; he’d been awarded the game’s second star.
“I wasn’t really focused. I was kind of watching the Vegas game,” he said.
Originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 2017 NHL entry draft, Ferguson had been traded to the Golden Knights in exchange for defenceman Marc Methot in late June.
By late October, the expansion Golden Knights were down to their third-string goalie, Oscar Dansk; he had just twisted his left leg and exited the game late in the second period.
Free agent signee Maxime Lagace replaced Dansk to finish the period and the game.
Shortly after, and still at BP’s, Ferguson got a phone call on his cell.
“It didn’t even really go through my head, until I had an unknown caller. And I was like, ‘who could this be?’”
“Everyone looked at me and looked at the T.V.
“And I was like, ‘oh, well…’ So I paid the boys’ bill and that’s what happened.”
Little more than two hours later, the Blazers’ goalie was on a flight out of Vancouver to join the Vegas team in New York City for its Tuesday game against the Rangers; in less than 24 hours, Ferguson jumped from fifth-string to second-string.
For more on this story, please see the Dec. 13 print edition or e-edition of the Daily Herald.