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Golden Knights' prospect takes unconventional route to Vegas

Goalie Dylan Ferguson, invited to Red Wings development camp, gets drafted by Stars and packaged in Marc Methot trade

by Lisa Dillman @RealLisa / Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- The phone rang during the NHL Draft on Saturday and it was the Detroit Red Wings on the other end, offering 18-year-old goaltender Dylan Ferguson an invitation to their development camp.

Ferguson was crushed but not by the invitation. He had toyed with the idea of going to Chicago for the draft but decided to stay home in British Columbia with his family and friends and watch on television.

Then came the phone call triggering an unusual series of events.

"I thought that meant I wasn't going to get picked," Ferguson said on Wednesday. "I got upset a little bit and stepped out. All I heard as soon as I stepped out was my dad started losing his mind a little bit, so I ran in and gave him a hug."

Just like that, Ferguson went from undrafted to a pick by the Dallas Stars, who selected him in the seventh round (No. 194). 

Ferguson, who played this past season for the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, had planned a fishing trip on Vancouver Island and was going to do some shopping on Monday. 

"I was going to buy a fly rod and I got a call from Dallas saying I'd been traded to Vegas," Ferguson said. "Then Vegas called and I'm flying out the next morning. You know, my last 48 hours have been crazy. I'm just grateful to be here. 

"Honestly, it's really exciting. It's definitely a whirlwind [couple] of days."

Players have been moved quickly after the draft but the main piece of the trade, veteran defenseman Marc Methot, had been with the Golden Knights for less than a week, having been taken by Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft. The Golden Knight sent Methot to Dallas for the Stars' second-round pick in 2020 and Ferguson.

The fishing equipment had to wait. Ferguson made his way to Las Vegas for the Golden Knights first development camp and was on the ice at Las Vegas Ice Center by Tuesday for the first practice.

Patience has been one of Ferguson's attributes. It was necessary this past season, playing behind Kamloops starting goalie Connor Ingram. When Ingram got the invite to play for Team Canada at the 2017 World Junior Championships, Ferguson seized the moment. He started 15 consecutive games, won nine and was named WHL goaltender of the month for December. He finished the season with a .922 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against average. 

"I was waiting for that opportunity for a while and I was working really hard," Ferguson said. "When it came I was really excited for it."

This is Ferguson's first trip to Las Vegas and he was thrilled as he walked outside in the 100-degree-plus heat, across the parking lot to the bus. 

"I love it here already," he said. 

What does he love the most?

"Honestly, the heat," he said. "I'm a big fan of heat."

OK, so maybe he was destined to be a Golden Knight. 

Meanwhile, a Stars official told the organization is planning to send Ferguson a Dallas Stars jersey with his name on it, a nice touch.

"It was my dream to get drafted here," Ferguson said. "So the fact I got traded here … it was amazing for me."

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