ST. CLOUD -- The Schmidt family from St. Cloud has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past year.

After their son, Nate was claimed by the Las Vegas Golden Knights from Washington in the NHL expansion draft last June Tom Schmidt says "it was a bit of a shock". A year ago it was impossible to think the expansion team would be playing in the Stanley Cup finals -- but they are.

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Tom Schmidt says he and his wife JoAnn have been traveling to as many of the playoff games as they can...

We were out there last week for the games on Wednesday and Friday, and then we flew home.  He tried to talk us into going up to Winnipeg, and I said no I think we'll catch this one on TV.  And he said, "dad, we could win it all!".  And, they did.

JoAnn Schmidt says they have the NHL Network for the times they can't be there in person.

It is crazy after they won on Sunday our house went from my husband and I and our daughter watching it to like 25 people there in 10 minutes wanting to celebrate, which was really neat.  But during the games, it's a little tense, so I have to walk outside and take a breather.

JoAnn says the family has also been using up a lot of texting minutes after the games.

Tom says the support from the greater St. Cloud community has been wonderful.

I have people walk up to me, total strangers, that know who I am and they obviously are watching Nate.  They're congratulating him that he's had such a fantastic season and wish him luck in the Stanley Cup Finals.

He also wanted to thank everyone who has helped Nate throughout his hockey career.

JoAnn says she's still pinching herself over the run the Golden Knights have been on, but they still have four wins to go to claim the championship.

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Las Vegas eliminated Winnipeg on Sunday night four games to one in the Western Conference finals.

Nate Schmidt graduated from St. Cloud Cathedral High School in 2010. He played for the Crusaders through his junior year before joining the Fargo Force. He then played for the University of Minnesota for three years and then signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals in 2013. Schmidt was claimed by Vegas from Washington in the expansion draft last year.

Nate Schmidt and the Las Vegas Golden Knights play his former team the Washington Capitals in game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday night.