A Golden Knight for Las Vegas at the NHL Awards

Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, forward William Karlsson, defenceman Deryk Engelland and general manager George McPhee arrive on the red carpet before the 2018 NHL Awards Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. CREDIT: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

It was a golden affair at the Hard Rock Hotel Wednesday night, as the NHL recognized the best in the league.

William "Wild Bill" Karlsson taking home a trophy for best sportsmanship and ability. And like many of the athletes who were honored, he thanked family, his teammates, and fans, but he also took time to recognize those who make Vegas Strong.

"And while I'm up here, I just want to stop and salute all the first responders of the Las Vegas community for what you did on the horrific night in October. Um, you're the real MVP," said Karlsson.

The program itself paid special tribute to several One October first responders and survivors by bringing them on stage.

Another honoree, Deryk Engelland, received the NHL Leadership Award, in part because of his home-opener speech that helped heal the community.

“You know, guys really took it upon themselves to keep winning for the people that were affected and the city and the excitement of every goal at every game you could really feel it lifted every guy in our locker room," said Engelland.

A perfect ending to a nearly perfect season.

Capping off the evening's golden winners were Gerard Gallant for coach of the year and George McPhee for general manager of the year.

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