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Krebs looking forward to playing, not watching, Golden Knights

No. 17 pick in 2019 Draft hopes to be ready for training camp after surgery for Achilles injury

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Peyton Krebs was happy to watch, but he much rather would have been participating during Vegas Golden Knights development camp in June.

"It's definitely not what you're built for when you play hockey, sitting and watching," Krebs said at the end of camp. "It's fun because it's hockey, but you get the chills because you just want to be out there."

The 18-year-old center, selected by the Golden Knights with the No. 17 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, sustained a partially torn Achilles tendon during an on-ice training session June 4 and had surgery three days later. His status for training camp, which opens for rookies Sept. 6, is unknown.

Krebs has one week remaining in a walking boot but said the plan with his rehabilitation is to take it slow and not to rush back onto the ice.

"I'm just trying to get healthy," he said. "When that time comes to step on the ice, I'll do that."

Video: Golden Knights draft F Peyton Krebs No. 17

Krebs (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) had 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) in 64 games as captain of Winnipeg (formerly Kootenay) of the Western Hockey League.

He said he prides himself on playing a 200-foot game that he tries to model after two Selke Trophy winners, Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar.

The Golden Knights pride themselves on having forwards who control play at each end of the ice. Forward Mark Stone, a Selke finalist for best defensive forward in the NHL in 2019, and center William Karlsson were two of five NHL players last season to score 20 goals, block 50 shots and have 70 takeaways (also Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers; Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets).

"High-character player," Vegas assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "Within his peer group he's always been one of the top players. He just carries himself that way.

"The hard work lies ahead. That's another area, with respect to Peyton, we're really comfortable that he's going to do everything he can to reach his ceiling. I look at him as a really good two-way center, and he's creative offensively."

Krebs was the Golden Knights' first selection in the first round of the NHL Draft since their first draft in 2017, when they chose center Cody Glass (No. 6), center Nick Suzuki (No. 13) and defenseman Erik Brannstrom (No. 15). Glass is the only one remaining in the organization after Suzuki was part of the trade to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Max Pacioretty on Sept. 9, and Brannstrom was part of the trade to the Ottawa Senators for Stone on Feb. 25.

Krebs may become Vegas' top prospect as soon as this season, with Glass likely graduating from prospect to NHL player.

"Being a part of an NHL team is something you always dream of doing," Krebs said. "Being here in Vegas, it's a special city and I'm happy to be here."



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