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Vegas Rookie Faceoff: 6 Team NHL Rookie Tournament Coming To City National Arena

The biggest event in City National Arena history starts on September 8th. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

The Golden Knights practice facility, City National Arena will host a six-team, three-day “tournament” featuring top NHL prospects. The six teams participating are the Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. It’s being called the Vegas Rookie Faceoff.

Each team will play three games with all nine games being held at City National Arena. Games will be played on September 8th, 9th, and 11th with the Golden Knights rookies taking on the Avalanche, Sharks, and Kings.

Here’s the full schedule for the event.

Saturday, Sept. 8
Game 1 – ARI vs. SJS, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 – LAK vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 – COL vs. VGK, 7 p.m. PT

Sunday, Sept. 9
Game 1 – LAK vs. ARI, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 – COL vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 – VGK vs. SJS, 7 p.m. PT

Tuesday, Sept. 11
Game 1 – ANA vs. ARI, 11 a.m. PT
Game 2 – SJS vs. COL, 11:30 a.m. PT
Game 3 – LAK vs. VGK, 2:30 p.m. PT

Rookie tournaments are fairly common in the NHL as they offer a chance for teams to play games against different opponents in a short period of time without having to travel. The Red Wings have hosted a tournament in Traverse City, MI for the past 20 years and includes eight teams. Toronto and Buffalo host similar tournaments as well.

Last year the Golden Knights traveled to El Segundo to play a pair of rookie games against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ticket information has not yet been released for the Vegas Rookie Faceoff. However, fans interested in tickets can fill out this contact form to be alerted when they are available.

The games are expected to be available either on TV and/or via Internet stream, but details have not been announced at this point.

These games will be an excellent opportunity for fans to see Golden Knights top prospects, Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, and Nic Hague. Plus, the 5th overall pick from 2018, Barrett Hayton (ARI), the 4th overall pick from 2017, Cale Makar (COL) and the 3rd overall pick from 2015, Dylan Strome (ARI) are expected to participate. Other top prospects like Gabe Vilardi (LAK), Kale Clague (LAK), Sam Steel (ANA), Vladislav Kamenev (COL), Conor Timmins (COL), and Ryan Merkley (SJS) should all play as well.

Hopefully, the Vegas Rookie Faceoff becomes an annual thing because it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Relocation Might Not Be Great…But It Could Be Worse

Did anyone else see the Arizona Coyotes smoke the LA Kings last night? The Yotes sported their sparkling new road sweaters as they quickly jumped on Jonathan Quick 4-1. I know it’s the first week of the season and the Kings are notorious slow starters, but this is the same Arizona team that’s the consensus pick to finish last.

The Coyotes have high prospects in their vault and decided it’s time to break some out. Highly ranked and son of the NHL player I hated most, Max Domi debuted with his first NHL goal in the second period. Max looks like Tie and probably could become an effective brawler someday but that’s not why he was a top pick.

Max is a skilled skater, with high shot accuracy. His high slot, wrist shot was so fast and accurate it was almost as Quick didn’t see it. It looks like the twenty year old Center has a bright future ahead of him.

Another fine prospect that was in the Yotes lineup was left winger Anthony Duclair. Already one of my favorite players, Duclair plays a little bigger and rougher than his young age of 20. Duclair made his NHL debut with the Rangers last season, but was moved to Arizona in the Keith Yandle trade. Not only can he check but he can score. In his last season of Canadian Juniors, Duclair scored 50 goals in 56 games.

All are lead though by the Yotes underrated star defenseman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Swede is overlooked when it comes to being named a top defenseman in the NHL, but he’s good enough to be mentioned. His superb ice intelligence (Googled, “smart cold guy,” this came up, so we are going with it, here, click it again, I know you want to) is what makes a top blue liner. Which will most certainly rub off on his young teammates. Proving that against the Kings with a goal in the first.

I didn’t even mention 2015 #2 pick Dylan Strome who’s lightning it up for the Erie Otters (you know we love minor league teams here at SinBin.vegas).

Even their coach, Dave Tippett, is regarded as one of the NHL’s best coaches. He’s had past success in a very tough market plus he’s good with developing talent.

So why am I pumping the Coyotes tires much? And why do you care? Well, worst case scenario is Las Vegas isn’t awarded a franchise. Boo, I know right that would suck. So second worst case scenario would be Las Vegas isn’t awarded a franchise but will be rewarded with a relocated team. And it’s pretty obvious with their stadium debacle that team would be Arizona. If the team and the region still struggle Las Vegas makes the most sense.

So it might make sense to pay attention to a young team in the making. Plus if projections come true the Yotes will have the first pick. Which would be a dream come true in Scottsdale native Auston Matthews. Likely next years overall top pick Matthews has NHL scouts raving, check him out.

All of those young talented players would be fantastic to inherit. Plus a solid coach, Ekman- Larrson, and a bad-ass mascot, the Coyotes might be worth watching.

Remember, it could be worse

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