By Charles V Reilly
NHL Insider for Vegashockey.net
Star defenseman Deryk Engelland is the heartbeat of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights. He a force on and off the ice. But who is he really….
Deryk is 35. His father was a welder. Deryk, all 6’2″ 215 of him, grew up up in Edmonton.
He played five seasons with the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors – from 1998 to 2003. In his final season there he had 199 penalty minutes.
He scored 14 times for Moose Jaw.
Deryk was drafted by the NHL New Jersey Devils in Round 6, the 194th player overall.
His first AHL team was the Lowell Lock Monsters who played home games on cold winter nights in Lowell, Massachusetts.
In 2003-04 he was a top defenseman for the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers who played at the Orleans Arena here in town on Tropicana Ave. Deryk played two seasons with the Wranglers, then was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played two seasons with the Hershey Bears and then was called up by the Penguins.
Penguins coach Dan Blysma said ‘He makes good, hard plays. He’s a tough customer, hard to play against in the defensive zone.”
Deryk played three seasons with the NHL Calgary Flames.
In the NHL Expansion Draft he was selected by the NHL Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. He is an Assistant Captain, a team leader.
One of his best friends is Las Vegas hometown goal scorer Jason Zucker with the NHL Minnesota Wild.
Deryk has played in 498 NHL games.
Totalled, from his days with the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors, Deryk has played in 1,339 games.
So the next time you are at the T-Mobile Arena and see Deryk skate into position onto the ice you now know the story behind the story.