When it comes to rosters and ages, the Vegas Golden Knights certainly have a variety. They have a mix of gentlemen in their young 20s, their middle 20s, and some in their 30s.
They have one player, however, who is older than the rest of them. As they say, with great age comes great wisdom. That is definitely the case for 37-year-old Deryk Engelland.
Engelland was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in April 1982. He played in the Western Hockey League (WHL), the ECHL (as a Las Vegas Wrangler for some time then other teams as well) and in the American Hockey League (AHL). He was drafted to the NHL in 2000 by the New Jersey Devils, but sadly didn’t see any playing time with them. His NHL debut wouldn’t come, however, until 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He played with the Penguins for four years before he opted to leave for the Calgary Flames, signing a three-year deal with them. Following the 2016-2017 he was a free agent, and thus left exposed for the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The Golden Knights picked him up on June 21, 2017.
In between those years of his career, he bounced around a lot between other teams. He played in Saskatchewan, Las Vegas, Reading, Hershey, Calgary, and even Norway for a brief period. There have been several coaches and other players who have assisted him through his career. As the oldest member of the Golden Knights, he now has a chance to spread his knowledge.
Being in that position, however, does it ever get lonely, or does he appreciate being a mentor and helping the younger generation become stronger hockey players? VGKLadies’ own Amy Novak asked him that question recently at a dine-and-learn event.
“If I wasn’t able to mentor the younger guys, I wouldn’t be in the league,” Engelland answered. “[Having this knowledge] is a part of getting old. During my career, I looked up to guys, and to help these young guys…it’s fun to be a part of.”
It is certainly entertaining for fans to see how well he interacted on the ice with the rookies early this season. It’s also been interesting to see how the rookies worked with him as well on a defense pairing. With his wits and experience, he has a thing or two to share with the rookies and his current teammates.
Perhaps, one day after he’s hung up his skates, we will continue to see him as a fountain of knowledge for the Golden Knights organization.