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Tag: Jack Dugan

Golden Knights Organization Offer World Class Training to Prospects

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One heavy point of emphasis for Golden Knights prospects at Development Camp was the importance of their strength and conditioning regimens.

Cody Glass spoke with us about his strict diet that was designed by the Golden Knights organization. At first, he had trouble eating his nutritional menu but soon realized it was for his own good.

It’s always been a struggle for me to put on weight. Gary Roberts has been helping me along the way. I went to him last year and he’s just given me tips on how to be a better player and a better professional. It all starts with eating healthy. It sucks at first but when you get used to it, it’s a lot better and it’ll help down the road. -Cody Glass

The Gary Roberts he’s talking about is a former NHL player turned into a well-known strength and conditioning guru. He’s helped proven NHL’ers like Connor McDavid and Mark Schiefele get faster and stronger. Over the past few years, the Golden Knights have tapped Roberts’ resources to help develop their pipeline.

Focusing on working on developing my legs. Adding muscle mass while maintaining my speed. I do a lot of cardio and muscle mass type workouts. I’m always talking to Wil Nichol and Gary Roberts about stuff that can help my game. They’ll talk to me throughout the year and give their input on what I should add to my workouts and regiment to help get to that next level. -Brandon Kruse

Jack Dugan will begin his sophomore year at Providence College this fall, but both GM Kelly McCrimmon and assistant coach Mike Kelly agreed he looked like a grown man, not a college student. That’s because Dugan has followed the guidance of the Golden Knights training staff since his draft date.

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VGK Three Year Olds Are Developing Into Men

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

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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.

The Golden Knights Age Gap

It would be nice if more of these guys were between 20-22 years old. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Historically, building a roster through expansion isn’t the ideal way to create a winner. Teams are often left devoid of talent, specifically high-end talent and have to wait years before they can build via trade and/or through the draft.

Luckily, for the Golden Knights, that wasn’t the case. The new expansion rules, coupled with George McPhee’s dominance in exploiting them left the league’s 31st team with a Cup-contending roster.

However, due to the nature of the Expansion Draft, the Golden Knights roster has been left with a major hole. It’s not the lack of talent hole most previous expansion teams were put in, but it’s a hole in the age distribution of the roster.

Age Range# of Players
<2020
20-224
22-249
24-2614
26-2816
>288

The Golden Knights have 20 prospects under the age of 20 years old, but just four between the ages of 20 and 22. The reason for this is that Vegas did not participate in the Entry Draft prior to 2017.

The four players are Zach Whitecloud (undrafted college free agent), Keegan Kolesar (acquired via trade at Expansion Draft), Dylan Coghlan (undrafted free agent), and Jack Dugan (2017 Draft, 5th round).

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When Will We See The Golden Knights Top Prospects In Vegas

After reading scouting reports, watching highlights and attending a day of development camp, it’s time to take a shot at the best case scenario for when each Golden Knights prospect may make it to the NHL.

We’re not going to fast track anyone. It never hurts a kid to play a an extra year or two in juniors. It’s better to overcook them than throw them in there raw. It’s like having a kid in 8th grade and suddenly throwing him into 11th grade. It’s too much, not only on the ice but socially for some of these kids. So we’ll be open minded, if someone’s ready, we’ll play him, but there’s a good chance all of these guys will be headed back to amateur this year. -George McPhee on 2017 Draft Picks

Alex Tuch (Acquired via Expansion Draft trade from Minnesota)

The plan is to begin the season on the Vegas Golden Knights roster. Tuch believes he’s prepared for Vegas.

I’m confident in my abilities to make the team next season. I’m concentrating on being in the lineup for that season opener. I’m going to come into training camp and really show them what I’ve got. I’m excited to get going. -Tuch

Tuch is still on an entry-level contract so the organization has the power to option him to Chicago. However, team officials seem eager to get Tuch in the mix. Probably, one of the reasons the 21-year-old is in town this week.

They gave me the option, I thought it’d be a really good idea to go over there and get a lay of the land a little bit. I also want to help some of those draft picks that will be coming in. I think I can be a leader. -Tuch

It’s going to be a numbers game come October, and because the Golden Knights have the option to send him to the AHL, that’s what may wind up happening out of necessity rather than desire or skill. But, if he’s not on this one, expect to see Tuch on opening day rosters for years to come.

Reid Duke (Signed as free agent on March 6th)

Most entry-level free agents don’t have the same expectations high-round prospects do. Duke is different though. As we’ve mentioned before this team signed the former Wheat King for a reason. He was clearly one of the leaders on and off the ice at Development Camp and is spectacular with the media. Duke has done an excellent job handling the pressure of being the franchise’s first player. His letter to NHL prospects on NHL.com showed the confidence and intelligence scouts raved about. Making the Golden Knights this season would be major surprise. Duke will need a year or two to develop in the AHL but the organization will give him every opportunity to succeed. He’s a clear fan favorite, but he also seems to be an organizational favorite, and a guy they would like to see make it to the NHL in Vegas, if nothing more than to prove they were right for making him the historic first Golden Knight.

Cody Glass (Selected 6th overall in 2017 Draft)

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Development Camp Day One Interviews And Observations

The fist day of Development Camp is in the books and there were certainly some standouts. Here are our observations from the afternoon at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

  • Two players really stood out, one in each session. In the first session it was Alex Tuch. He looked like a man among boys on the ice. The other was Keegan Kolesar, the player acquired in the draft day trade with Columbus.
  • Reid Duke seemed to take on somewhat of a leadership role on the ice. It’s possible we made this up, but Jason and I both recognized it separately, so we are going with it.
  • None of the goalies really stood out. One in particular had a rough day, but I’m choosing not to say who it was because it was the first day of camp and that’s just mean.
  • Gallant’s role was somewhat secondary. Dave Prior did most of the coaching with the goalies, and Gallant stayed to the side until it was time to address the team in huddles.
  • The main focus from the management team, and specifically Wil Nichol, Director of Player Development, who said it in a media scrum, was to teach the players the culture of the Golden Knights. That mainly meant, take care of your business on the ice and get out in the community and be great people off the ice.
  • The Creator was present in the rink for the first half of the day before he took off for Montana. He was having a great time watching his players, talking to the media, and even taking some pictures with fans.
  • We spoke to a ton of players after the practice and there was a majorly positive attitude accross the board. All seemed to be pumped to be in Vegas, but even more so understood the expansion team likely offers them the most opporunity, and you could tell many expect to seize it.

Here’s our recap of a few players we were able to interview including Tuch, Kolesar, Duke, Nick Suzuki, and Jack Dugan.

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