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Tag: Development Camp

2018 Development Camp – Photo Gallery

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Development Camp Takeaways

Brannstrom remains the most exciting prospect in the VGK pipeline, but there’s a ton to look forward to both on and off the roster. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

2018 Golden Knights Development Camp is now over and there is plenty to talk about. From the progression of the 2017 rookie class to Zach Whitecloud’s shot at the NHL roster to the recruitment of Jimmy Schuldt, Development Camp leaves us with many questions, but plenty of hints to the answers.

  • The progression of the 2017 Draft picks was noticeable
    • Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki both looked more comfortable in camp. Like last season, Glass’ finishing ability and Suzuki’s hands jumped off the page.
    • Nic Hague continues to look like a monster on the ice and his stick is Brayden McNabb like. Still feels like the skating needs a bit of improvement, but his offensive ability is really exciting. Plus, the “Nic Hague toe drag” is real. He pulled it off multiple times in the scrimmages to get from the point to the slot, or the circle to directly in front of the goal. It rhymes too, which is awesome.
    • Erik Brannstrom remains the dynamic superstar in the making we remember. His confidence on the ice is infectious. When he has the puck, there’s almost an aura that makes everyone watching (including the other players on the ice) believe something special is about to happen. It doesn’t always happen, but every once in a while it does, and in those moments it really happens. It reminds me of a home run hitter in baseball, where every time he steps to the plate, even though he only gets a hit about 30% of the time, you feel like this is going to be the one. It’s electrifying. The problem is, like the home run hitter, 70% of the time it doesn’t happen, and for a defenseman in the NHL, that’s way too much. He’s 18-years-old though. He’s not ready for the NHL yet, as much as that pains me to say.
    • Jack Dugan and Jonas Rondbjerg were the standouts among the other draft picks from the 2017 Draft. After about the 8th time saying “oh, nice play Rondbjerg” or “wow, look at Dugan” I realized their good moments weren’t flashes. It’s certainly exciting to see a few non-first round picks separate themselves from the pack a bit.

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What To Watch For At Development Camp

For fans that plan to go down to the LV Ice Center this week, here’s what we’re watching for at Development Camp.

The first Golden Knight
It’s pretty clear Reid Duke is a fan favorite already. After a week of signing autographs and snapping fan selfies, the first Golden Knight will take the ice. This week, look for Duke’s all-around skill that got the attention of the Vegas scouts. It could be beneficial for fans to compare the skill of Duke with like Alex Tuch, Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki.

Alex “The Great” Tuch
Minnesota didn’t enjoy giving up Alex Tuch. And why would they? The Wild invested a first-round pick on him and waited while he developed in the NCAA. The New York native has the size and skill to be an effective NHL power-forward. Hockey Future’s highlights Tuch’s stick-handling, shot, speed and hockey IQ. McPhee passed on a known commodity, hopefully, doubtful fans will get to see why this week.

Three in the top 15
I’m most excited to see the first-round talents drafted by Vegas, Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Erik Brannstrom. All three are highly-regarded so their skill should be obvious to an idiot scout like myself. They’re young, incredibly talented but underdeveloped. It’ll be fun to watch them mature over the next few years.

It should be the first chance we have to take a look Gerard Gallant’s coaching style. We aren’t sure how much it will be him taking the reigns or if he’ll let Rocky Thompson (Wolves), Phil Axtell (Mallards), or any of the other developmental coaches take control, but either way, the coaching is on display as much as the players are.

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Gallant Will Be “Sitting Back Watching” During Expansion Draft

We’ve long talked about the Expansion Draft from George McPhee’s point of view, but we finally got a chance to ask the man who will be coaching all of the players selected what his role will be during the 72 hour period from June 18th to the 21st.

I’ll be sitting back watching. I mean don’t get me wrong, they’ll ask me about some of Florida’s players and some of Montreal’s players, because I coached those players, I know them inside and out. So the guys that I know, they’ll ask me questions and I’ll fill them in. They’ll pick the players they want, which is how it should be, but I’ll give my opinion when they ask. -Gerard Gallant

George will pick the players, Gerard will coach them. That’s how it was described the day Gerard was hired, and that’s how it appears it will remain through the biggest 72 hours in Golden Knights history.

We’ve written over 300 articles specifically referencing the Expansion Draft, and the Vegas staff has to get it all done in a 72 hour period. We assumed there wouldn’t be much sleeping going on, Gerard confirmed.

I am (going to sleep during the Expansion Draft). George isn’t. Seriously it’s hectic for those guys right now, but you know what, if it’s hectic that’s really good for our franchise. It means the other teams are constantly calling, that’s real good. -Gallant

Gallant’s job starts soon though. Development Camp starts up on June 26th with the first practice on the 27th at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Gallant says there will be 44 players suited up. These will include the draft picks, free agents like Reid Duke and Tomas Hyka, and a host of players on try-out contracts.

**Practices and scrimmages are open to the public, but it’s first come first serve and the Ice Center does not have a tone of space, so plan accordingly.**

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