Golden Knights set for first preseason game –

LAS VEGAS — Shea Theodore has to do more than prove he belongs on the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural roster. He has to force them to keep him even though it might be easier to start him with Chicago of the American Hockey League.

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The Golden Knights have 11 NHL defensemen and are prepared to keep eight. Performance, injuries and trades will be factors. But this will be a factor too: Theodore is on an entry-level contract, so he can go to the AHL without passing through waivers. He could play as high as the top pair and power play, or as low as the minors.

Theodore will be the one to watch amid a lineup of young players in the Golden Knights’ first preseason game, at the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, ATTSN-RM).

“Yeah, in the back of my head, I know there’s the waiver-exempt option,” Theodore said Saturday. “But you have to come in with a glass-half-full kind of mindset, and I’m here to make the team. I’m here to play my best hockey and do what I can to stick on the blue line. That’s all I can do.”

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Whatever happens in the short term, though, Theodore has a bright future in Vegas. The Golden Knights targeted him leading up to the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21 and acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks by agreeing to select defenseman Clayton Stoner.

If the Golden Knights send Theodore to the AHL, they probably won’t keep him there long. He’s 22, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, with speed and

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