Watch: William Karlsson nets pair of firsts with hat trick versus Maple Leafs

The Vegas Golden Knights sure aren’t catching anybody by surprise anymore, but game after game, it seems, the team continues to hit new milestones.

Sunday’s hero in yet another dominating home performance in Sin City was William Karlsson, who netted his first career hat trick and at the same time became the first Golden Knights player (enter franchise-history joke here) to score three times in a game.

The trick-completing tally was an empty netter, but it definitely gets chalked up as one of the nicest open-cage goals you’ll see:

Karlsson, who now leads Vegas in goals, is one of a long list of Golden Knights who have far exceeded expectations this season. Entering 2017-18, Karlsson had only 18 goals to his name in 183 career NHL games. His three tallies on Sunday gave him 20 in 37 contests this season — truly remarkable for a player who had never scored more than 15 goals in Sweden or the AHL since 2010-11.

Karlsson’s first career hat trick capped off an incredible 2017 for the Golden Knights. (AP Photo/John Locher)

And so this team’s incredible run this season continues. It was the Golden Knights’ seventh straight victory (another first for the franchise) and they now astonishingly sit second overall in the entire NHL. Even more absurd is Vegas’ 16-2-1 record on home ice.

Here’s a statement to finish off 2017 just as strange as it started: The expansion Vegas Golden Knights head into the new year leading the NHL’s Western Conference. Just let that soak in for a few.

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