When Isaiah Saville visits Vegas, he has more than a few options for where to stay. There are the endless choices near The Fortress on the Strip, Red Rock Hotel within walking distance of City National Arena... or his brother's house. As luck would have it, Saville's brother just moved to the desert a couple months ago from their hometown of Anchorage, Alaska.
The siblings found out they'd be neighbors again at a draft watch party hosted by Isaiah's uncle in Alaska.
"He got in at 2 in the morning here and when we found out he was so excited," said Saville. "He's pumped to hopefully be living in the same state again, finally. He was at a loss of words as well as I was. I'm just really excited."
That's not the only connection the 2019 fifth round draft pick (135th overall) of the Vegas Golden Knights has to the city. In 2017, his parents were in attendance at the first Golden Knights game ever played at T-Mobile Arena.
"They were in Vegas for a little vacation for themselves and saw the home opener was then, so they planned around that. They went to the game and had a blast there. It looked like the best place to play in the NHL."
Saville initially left home when he was 15 to play for the Colorado Thunderbirds U16 during the 2016-17 season. While he acknowledges it was a difficult choice for him and his family to make, his current stats are proof it was a worthwhile one.
He was named the NAHL Midwest Goaltender of the Year while playing with the Minnesota Magicians during the 2017-18 season. In the 2018-19 season, he had the best GAA (1.90) in the USHL and was again named Goaltender of the Year, this time with the Tri-City Storm. This fall, he'll start his freshman year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he's committed to play for the 2019-20 season.
The goalie credits his extensive support network for helping him get to where he is today.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my goalie coach Steve Thompson who has helped me develop my game so much over the last couple of years. Focusing a lot on positioning and skating," said Saville. "A lot of my credit on the ice goes to him, but off the ice it goes completely towards my family."