Brendan Brisson was still dealing with the disappointment of the Silver Knights’ ugly 7-0 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday when he got the text.
The 2020 first-round pick was being called up to the Golden Knights and was expected to report for practice Sunday morning.
“It was kind of hard to sleep,” the 22-year-old said. “It’s something you dream about your whole life, so to get that call is pretty exciting. I had a lot of adrenaline going.”
The Manhattan Beach, California, native is expected to make his NHL debut when the Knights (24-14-5) host the Nashville Predators (24-18-1) at 3 p.m. Monday at T-Mobile Arena.
He has earned the opportunity with 10 goals and 23 points in 37 games with the Silver Knights, but his call-up was also necessitated by a slew of injuries.
Jack Eichel has been placed on injured reserve and will miss at least the next two games for the Knights. Coach Bruce Cassidy said the Knights will get more information on the injury to Eichel, which appeared to be to his lower body, at some point this week.
Chandler Stephenson didn’t practice Sunday as he deals with an illness, though he has not been ruled out of Monday’s game.
“We’ve had two other guys ill who missed games when I expected them to play and they didn’t,” Cassidy said. “So I’m expecting him to play. I’m hoping the odds will turn for us this time.”
If he’s not able to go, Byron Froese was recalled again, hours after playing for the Golden Knights on Saturday night and being sent back down to Henderson.
Cassidy hopes Brisson can help pick up some of the offensive slack with so many players missing from the lineup, particularly with a top power-play unit that is missing three of its five regulars.
“His game is growing away from the puck,” Cassidy said. “Probably can impact the game without it in terms of puck pursuit and second effort, those sorts of things. Don’t expect him to be a big physical presence, but he can get pucks back to help that part of his offensive game.
“We know he can be good on the half-wall on the power play, get his shot off. It’s something we’re missing on the power play is that threat of a one-timer on a regular basis. That comes first nature to him. Those are the things we feel he’ll bring.”
Brisson, who was born into the game as the son of one of the NHL’s most powerful agents, hopes he can bring some immediate help to the slumping Knights.
He was skating on the third line Sunday with Michael Amadio and Paul Cotter and will likely be slotted there Monday.
“Just play my game,” he said of how he wants to fit in. “Be an offensive player. Go to the net, shoot the puck, score some goals. Then play well away from the puck and be reliable defensively and be confident out there.”
He expects to have a sizable contingent coming from Los Angeles to see his debut. Brisson’s mother was already in town, so he got to wake her up with the news late Saturday.
“She was supposed to fly home (Sunday),” he said. “But she canceled her flight.”
She and the rest of his friends and family should get to see a skilled offensive player who has worked on his grittiness during his time in the minors.
“Definitely my play away from the puck and wall play,” he said of where he has made his biggest strides. “Winning wall battles in the defensive zone, getting pucks out and then supporting in the offensive zone and all around the ice.”
The Predators have won three of four.