Marc-Andre Fleury, Deryk Engelland, Jason Garrison, Brayden McNabb and Reid Duke were selected by the Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft. UFC officials, fighters and staff welcomed the players to Las Vegas with special UFC Fight Kit Champions edition hoodies to celebrate their arrival.
“We’ve been waiting for a pro sports team, other than us, to come to Las Vegas for a long time,” UFC president Dana White said. “Now, to have our first professional hockey team, it’s a big day for the city, as we continue to grow and bring more businesses.
Welcome to #Vegas, @GoldenKnights!
We got your back pic.twitter.com/UpCWpSKhZr
— #UFCOKC (@ufc) June 22, 2017
“You’re a real city when you have professional sports teams, so this is a big day for us.”
Fleury is arguably the new face of the Golden Knights franchise, bringing 12 years of experience in the NHL with him to Las Vegas. The goaltender was the first overall draft pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003 and has been a member of three Stanley Cup winning teams in Pittsburgh.
“Things have been good, we’ve been pretty busy going around town,” Fleury said. “We’re very happy we stopped here as I’ve always been a big fan of UFC.”
The Golden Knights begin their inaugural season in the NHL on Oct. 6 against the Dallas Stars and open at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10 vs. the Arizona Coyotes.