Golden Knights: Off The Ice

Tag: new player

Mason Who?

We’re pretty used to seeing new names pop up on the VGK roster these days, and a new guy made quite a splash in the Shark Tank in San Jose for his NHL debut this past Monday: Mason Morelli. Let’s meet Mason!

Mason was born February 1 (he just turned 28) in Minot, ND to Matt and Kelly Morelli. Fun fact: his father and grandfather both played hockey at UND! Mason didn’t follow in their footsteps and attended the University of Nebraska – Omaha, where he played hockey for four seasons, including being named Captain for the 2018-2019 season.

Mason has had quite a journey to make his debut with the Golden Knights, including time in the AHL with the team that feeds into the Calgary Flames and three seasons with the beloved Hershey Bears.

Mason signed his professional contract with VGK on July 1, 2023, and had scored 23 points in 44 games prior to being called up for the February 19 game against the San Jose Sharks. Not only did Mason make his debut, he joins only two other players in VGK history who scored during their NHL debut, Cody Glass and one Vadim Shipachyov. He also recorded his first NHL assist in this game at the end of the second period for Keegan Kolesar’s goal.

We’re looking forward to seeing more of Mason and wish him the absolute best in the Big Leagues!

Who IS Brendan Brisson, Anyway?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen or heard the name Brendan Brisson tossed around by people talking about the Henderson Silver Knights or the VGK, but just who is he?  Let’s dive in and find out!

Brendan was born October 22, 2001, in Manhattan Beach, CA, to Kim and Pat Brisson.  His father, Pat, is a well-known sports agent, repping clients like Sidney Crosby, and Jack and Quinn Hughes. He even grew up with Sid as a babysitter and played around with Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni ‘Geno’ Malkin in the pool, earning him the nickname ‘The Shark’ from young Brendan.

Brendan (lower left), with his parents Kim and Pat, and younger brother Jordan and Lord Stanley’s Cup
(Photo courtesy The Brisson Family)

 

A young Brendan Brisson and his ‘babysitter’, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby
(Photo courtesy br_openice on Instagram)

Brendan played youth hockey for the Los Angeles Junior Kings (boooo) and Prep hockey for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Fairbault, Minnesota, where he led the team in points (101 in 55 games) and goals scored during his senior year. After that, he played for the Green Bay Gamblers and Chicago Steel, both of the USHL, before beginning his collegiate career at the University of Michigan, where he would play just 2 seasons before signing an amateur tryout contract with the Henderson Silver Knights. He performed quite well, scoring 3 goals and 5 assists in just 6 games with the HSK.  This led to a 3-year, entry-level contract with our beloved VGK.  For those of you keeping track at home, that contract is worth $832,500 this year.

Brendan wears #19, formerly worn by VGK legend Reilly Smith.

 

Brendan made his NHL debut with the VGK wearing #19 on January 15, 2024, against the Nashville Predators, and scored his first NHL goal last night, January 20, 2024, against his old buddies Sid and Geno. You might be asking “Wait, isn’t Reilly Smith wearing #19?”  Yes, Reilly wore #19 and Brendan got the blessing of the remaining Misfits and Reilly himself before switching from #24 to #19, which is the number he wore in high school, junior hockey, college and the 2022 Winter Olympics, with Smith saying “Just make sure you take care of her.”  I don’t think you have anything to worry about there, Reilly.  With Reilly in the Fortress last night to see that memorable first goal, I don’t think there’s any question about it: #19 is in great hands.

Brendan in his 2022 Winter Olympics gear by Ralph Lauren. (Photo courtesy Brendan Brisson’s Instagram)

Welcome to the big show, Brendan!

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