2019 Dev Camp has wrapped up which leaves us with no hockey to watch for a brutal two months. So, in the meantime, we’ll have to over-analyze three meaningless scrimmages at City National Arena as if they were the end all be all of the development of the prospects.
Joking, of course, but seriously, here are my takeaways from what I saw at Development Camp this week.
It starts with Cody Glass. He played in the first period and a half of the first scrimmage and was taken out due to precautionary reasons. No reason to risk him getting hurt in scrimmages against kids he’s already better than. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. Didn’t seem like it was.
Dylan Ferguson, Marcus Kallionkieli, and Dylan Coghlan were all kept out of scrimmages as well. It’s always disappointing to not see these guys play in the rare chances we get to in person, especially Kallionkieli. He didn’t stand out much in one scrimmage he did play, but if he was hurt, that makes sense as to why.
2017 Draft Picks looking like NHLers
The 2017 Draft will forever be one of the most important in team history. For a club that had just come off the Expansion Draft and had a boatload of picks, they had to cash in on a few. It’s starting to look like they did.
Jonas Rondbjerg was the most consistent and best player in camp for me. His two-way game stands out when you really key in on him. He’s a tremendous forechecker and is really good along the walls in all three zones. He’ll start the season in Chicago, but I’ll go on record with the bold prediction that he plays a game in a VGK uniform in 2019-20.
Jack Dugan was a close second to Rondbjerg, constantly making things happen when he was on the ice. He’s turned into a wrecking ball and it’s fun to watch him play in the offensive zone. The dude is relentless in his pursuit to get the puck back. The one thing I was missing was the finish. He scored a beauty on a breakaway but there were four or five other chances I thought to myself, that could have been a goal, and they weren’t. When they first got him I wasn’t sure what to think, last year he started to make me think he had a shot, now I’m willing to say I’d be surprised if he isn’t an NHLer at some point.
Lucas Elvenes started to look like the player I read about when they got him. His vision is incredible on the ice and there’s no pass he can’t make. He’s mentioned to me in the past that the smaller ice has taken him some time to get used to and you are starting to see it. He finally looks comfortable on the puck and when it’s on his stick something good is bound to happen.
I wanted to see a bit more out of Jake Leschyshyn, Ben Jones, and Nick Campoli. There were moments for all three, no doubt, and there’s no question each seems further along than they’ve been in the past, but I just didn’t see the flash that made me say, that kid’s going to the NHL one day out of any of the three. Of course, they’ll two of the three will be heading to Chicago and the other back to NCAA (Campoli), which will give them much more of a chance to keep taking the steps.
Love me some Pavel
I enjoy skilled players. Russian players tend to be very skilled. Thus, I tend to like Russian players., but I really like Pavel Dorofeyev a lot. His ability to hold onto the puck while advancing it into more dangerous places on the ice than where he got it is impressive, especially for an 18-year-old. Pretty much every time he touched the puck there was danger for the defense. This is also talking about a kid who has hardly ever played on North American sized ice. Wait until you see the updated prospect rankings, I’m super high on this guy, to say the least.
It’s taken quite some time, but it looks like the rookies are finally fully cooked and ready to play in the NHL.
With the move of Colin Miller the Golden Knights roster currently stands with just five NHL players under contract and likely a sixth when Deryk Engelland re-ups in Vegas.
While the trade was made to help with cap compliance it was also made to provide some hope for the young defensemen we have in the organization. We really believe we have some terrific young defensemen, different flavors, bring different things to our lineup. -McPhee
There are five players with a legitimate claim to that open spot. They are Nic Hague, Jimmy Schuldt, Zach Whitecloud, Jake Bischoff, and Dylan Coghlan.
So this is going to be a year where we’re going to add a rookie on the blue line and we have different flavors and I’m not sure which one at this point will do it, but it brings some enthusiasm and some freshness to your lineup and we believe will make us better because these kids are good, they are good players. -McPhee
The Golden Knights have continued to move pieces out to get back down below the salary cap by moving Miller to the Buffalo Sabres.
Vegas gets a 2nd round pick in 2021 (originally STL’s) and a 5th in 2022. The Golden Knights now have extra 2nd round picks in each of the 2020 and 2021 Drafts.
Miller was a healthy scratch for the first game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Golden Knights lost to the Sharks in San Jose. He was re-inserted into the lineup following that game and played the remaining six games of the series. A few days after Game 1, head coach Gerard Gallant said this…
Well when Colin plays real solid hockey it doesn’t matter who he’s playing against. It’s not the opponents (that matter), it’s the way he gets ready mentally. We were a little disappointed he didn’t play Game 1, but since then he’s played real solid hockey. -Gallant
Miller scored just three goals in 2018-19, but did post 26 assists and was a constant on the Golden Knights power play.
The Golden Knights defense now has just five players under NHL contract. Those players are Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb, Shea Theodore, Nick Holden, and Jon Merrill. Deryk Engelland is an unrestricted free agent who could return to the Golden Knights, but even if he does, trading Miller certainly appears to open a space on the roster for a rookie.
Zach Whitecloud, Nic Hague, Dylan Coghlan, Jake Bischoff, and Jimmy Schuldt (who is an RFA) will battle for that spot in training camp.
When Cody Glass was drafted in 2017, he stood 6’1″, weighing in at 175lbs. Two years later, Glass is filling in nicely.
Yeah I think I’m 190lbs now, and I’m 6’2 and a half. I’m not close to my brother or my dad, but it’s nice to see some improvement on my weight and height. -Glass
Since becoming a Golden Knights prospect he was told to add weight and muscle while developing in WHL and the AHL.
It’s always been a struggle for me to put on weight… the team has been helping me along the way. They gave me tips on how to be a better player and a better professional. It all starts with eating the healthy. It sucks at first but when you get used to it, it’s a lot better and it’ll help down the road. -Glass
Same goes for prospect Jack Dugan, who was sizably different from his first Golden Knights development camp.
Jack, to me, looks like a man now. That’s a guy who’s improving leaps and bounds.”-Kelly McCrimmon
Both director of player development Wil Nichol and assistant coach Mike Kelly echoed those same thoughts, almost word for word.
Dugan, a sophomore at Providence College, knew he had the talent when Vegas selected him in 2017, but he knew he needed to get stronger. So he began training more off the ice and in the gym.
When I was drafted I had never been in a weight room before. This past two years that’s been the main focus, more so off the ice. I think my on-ice ability got me drafted. Put the two together and I think I have a pretty good chance. -Dugan
Incoming General Manager Kelly McCrimmon spoke at length about the growth and strength development of players attending their third camp. It’s the one thing that’s most noticeable year-to-year.
Seeing players come back year to year to year, it gives an appreciation for how development actually works. And for the time it takes for guys to get there… Specifically with Cody, he’s a good example. When you look at the difference in Cody from year one, to year two, to year three you see a player that’s bigger, stronger, faster, more confidence. -McCrimmon
It breaks down to commitment and discipline. Unfortunately, pizza and fried chicken aren’t in that equation.
No, stay away from it. Unless it’s the end of the season. -Glass
For the record, the SinBin.vegas crew ate pizza literally an hour before we spoke to Glass. We’ve yet to find the link between terrible eating habits and poor blogging.
In the first round, when a team is ready to make a pick in the Draft, pretty much the entire front office goes up on stage, stands behind a microphone, and the GM announces the selection on live TV. The kid stands up, hugs his family then makes his way to take pictures with his new organization. All the while Draft analysts breakdown the pick making a big deal about each individual player selected in the 1st round.
But there are only 31 picks in the 1st NHL Round of the NHL Draft. There are 217 total selections, so the process is a bit different for the other 186 players that are selected, and in the case of one in particular, much different.
Ryder Donovan was not in Vancouver, instead, he was at the University of Wisconsin training facility with his brother Shay and friend (who is also at VGK Dev Camp) Mike Vorlicky. Donovan was sitting there wearing those giant recovery boots watching the Draft on NHL Network when the Golden Knights were on the clock in the 4th round.
Donovan loved Vegas throughout the entire Draft process and had already watched the Golden Knights make four selections that were not him. Then it was time for Vegas to make its fifth pick of the 2019 Draft, the 110th pick.
I was just really praying I could go here and I was watching and I knew they had a couple of 3rd round picks and I kinda thought my range was 3rd or 4th, and then that 4th round pick I was about to be pissed if I didn’t get called. -Donovan
He was called, but how he found out was not exactly the way you’d expect.
Nicolas Roy is a 22-year-old forward who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 Draft. He has played the previous two full seasons with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL scoring 11 and 17 goals in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
He really burst onto the scene in the Calder Cup Playoff run which eventually ended with Roy’s Checkers defeating the Golden Knights affiliate the Chicago Wolves. Roy scored six goals and tallied nine assists in 16 playoff games.
Roy is a big forward standing 6’4″ tall and weighing 207 pounds.
A franchise that was supposed to take years to truly become a contender was able to achieve that status overnight and with the roster heading into 2019-20, they are looking to take that final step.
Vegas has seven key players signed through the next four seasons. They have another five under contract for each of the next three. Sure, they are pushed up against the cap now, but even with the impending moves, this team is ready to be a favorite in the Western Conference.
There is however one specific piece of the puzzle though that is so crucial to the team’s success, but also might be the most volatile of all.
He plays the most important position on the ice and he’s played it at an incredibly high level since coming to Vegas. Because of it, the Golden Knights have made back-to-back playoff appearances and raised a pair of banners in the rafters.
But Fleury is 34-years-old and will turn 35 early this season. If there’s one thing we know about sports, it’s that Father Time is undefeated. Some guys maintain their peak level of play longer than others, but every player in the history of sports eventually reaches a point where they just can’t do it anymore.
That day will come for Fleury, and the major question is what happens to the Golden Knights when it does.
Certainly, Marc-Andre is tremendously important to our team’s success and we are very fortunate to have a player of his ability and add to that his leadership and his character makes him a big big part of our team. We’ve never ever talked about shaping the rest of our team based on any player’s particular window. We’ll always be a team that’s trying to build around a core of good players and that’s our focus now and we need Marc-Andre to be a big part of that. -McCrimmon
The idea is to have a good enough core to be able to withstand any one piece’s demise. Sounds noble, but is it realistic when talking about Fleury?
We can only hope.
Otherwise, they better find another sucker to give away a Hall of Famer.
Friday night was one the Krebs family has been envisioning for a very long time. You might’ve noticed the 17th overall surrounded by his proud parents and siblings as his name was being called. The handshakes, hugs, kisses, and tears of joy. It was a made for TV moment.
My parents could tell early on that Peyton had something special. His heart has always been with hockey and to see his dreams come true at the Draft was so amazing. My family’s passion and love for the game is steadfast. Hockey has brought so much joy to my parents and brothers lives. -Maddison Krebs, Sister and Professional Musician
Peyton’s sister Maddison was spotlighted by NBCSports after Vegas made their 1st round selection. We chatted with Maddison following last weekend’s Draft. Like her brother, she chased her dream and is a successful singer/songwriter living in Nashville. Peyton and Maddison both recognized their passion early on, and their parents stood by in support.
Just like my brother’s, I found what I loved to do very early on. My parents gave us kids dream books when we were little. In the book, you write all your goals and dreams with a picture. This inspired us to always go after what’s in our hearts. My parents bought me a guitar when I was 7 and that’s when my big dreams where born. Since then I’ve dedicated myself to my dreams in music and it’s been an amazing journey so far. -Maddison Krebs
Quite like a young hockey players first stick, Maddison was gifted her first instrument and the music began to flow. Before they were teens, the Krebs’ kids were on their future path to dream careers, and it was never deterred by Cindy or Greg Krebs.
All the boys played high-level hockey and I was competing in dancing, along with pursuing music. This was all happening prior to any of us having our driver’s licenses. And we of course only have two parents, so that can give you a pretty good idea of our crazy schedules! We could not have done any of this without our parents. -Maddison Krebs
Let’s be honest, most parents would remind their children it’s nearly impossible to become a professional athlete or a professional musician. Most tend to lead their children down a traditional college/business route. It’s the logical approach for parents. But not for Cindy and Greg. They gave their four children the support to grow and flourish. (The other two Krebs boys are both hockey players. Dakota, 20 plays in the WHL, and Dru, 16, plays in their hometown of Okotoks for the Okotoks Oilers.)