The Vegas Golden Knights will announce winners of the team's regular season awards following the final home game of the season on April 4 against the Arizona Coyotes. Awards include the First Star Award, the Vegas Strong Service Award and the Seventh Player Award. Fans can make their voices heard by voting on the Seventh Player Award at vegasgoldenknights.com/awards.
Cody Eakin, Jon Merrill, Brandon Pirri and Ryan Reaves have been nominated for the Seventh Player Award for the player who most exceeded expectations on the ice this season.
Eakin has been as steady as they come this season as he's notched 37 points (19G, 18A) in 70 games. He's shown his versatility as a penalty-killing specialist for the Golden Knights while also putting up consistent offensive numbers. Eakin has a +20 rating and a 50.72 face-off percentage. He's closing in on his career-high of 19 goals set in 2014-15.
Merrill picked up an assist on Vegas' first goal of the season on Oct. 4 to kick off one of the most productive offensive seasons of his NHL career. The Oklahoma City native has registered two separate three-game point streaks this season, has scored a career-high three goals and is one point away from tying his career-best of 14 points. Merrill scored the first shorthanded goal of his career on Feb. 9 against Columbus.
After starting the season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, Pirri played his first NHL game of the season on Dec. 20 against the New York Islanders. He scored a goal in that game and started a streak during which he recorded 13 points (8G, 5A) in 11 games. The Toronto native has 11 goals in 28 games this season - the most he's had in one NHL season since 2015-16.
Reaves has posted career-highs in all offensive categories in 2018-19 with nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points. His 90 shots on net top his previous single-season best of 58 set in 2016-17 with St. Louis. The Winnipeg native put together a three-game point streak from Nov. 24-29 and accrued one goal and two assists in that stretch. Reaves leads all NHLers with 281 hits.
The First Star Award goes to the Golden Knights player with the most appearances in the postgame stars of the game at T-Mobile Arena. William Karlsson claimed the award last season in addition to the Seventh Player honors.
Deryk Engelland was the inaugural winner of the Vegas Strong Service Award last season for his outstanding work in the Vegas community. This year's winner will be a player who dedicated time away from the ice to making Las Vegas a better place.