For the first time since the nightmare at SAP Center, there will be Golden Knights on the ice this week at City National Arena. 2019 Development Camp gets underway tomorrow with practices for the early half of the week and then scrimmages on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
43 players have been invited to this year’s camp including 22 Golden Knights draft picks. Here’s a quick rundown of the roster.
- Draft Picks by Year
- 2019 – Kaedan Korczak, Pavel Dorofeyev, Layton Ahac, Ryder Donovan, Isaiah Saville, Marcus Kallionkieli, Mason Primeau (Not Attending: Peyton Krebs)
- 2018 – Slava Demin, Brandon Kruse, Connor Corcoran, Peter Diliberatore, Xavier Bouchard, Jordan Kooy (Not Attending: Ivan Morozov, Paul Cotter)
- 2017 – Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Lucas Elvenes, Jack Dugan, Nick Campoli, Jiri Patera, Ben Jones
- Players Under VGK Control
- Dylan Coghlan, Dylan Ferguson
- Undrafted Players NOT Under VGK Control
- 17 – Garrett Pinoniemi
- 18 – Cole MacKay, Cullen McLean, Zak Smith, Mason Lohrei, Kirby Proctor, Zach Uens, Mike Vorlicky
- 19 – Wyatt Bongiovanni, Taro Jentzsch, Brayden Pachal
- 20 – Mick Messner, Charles-Antoine Roy, Bray Crowder, Tim Theocharidis
- 21 – Mitchell Chaffee, Jermaine Loewen, Keenan Suthers, Gustaf Westlund
- Times attending VGK Camp
- Third Appearance – Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Lucas Elvenes, Jack Dugan, Nick Campoli, Jiri Patera, Ben Jones, Dylan Cohglan, Dylan Ferguson
- Second Appearance – Brandon Kruse, Connor Corcoran, Peter Diliberatore, Xavier Bouchard, Jordan Kooy
- First Appearance – Slava Demin, Kaedan Korczak, Pavel Dorofeyev, Layton Ahac, Ryder Donovan, Isaiah Saville, Marcus Kallionkieli, Mason Primeau, Garrett Pinoniemi, Cole MacKay, Cullen McLean, Zak Smith, Mason Lohrei, Kirby Proctor, Zach Uens, Mike Vorlicky, Wyatt Bongiovanni, Taro Jentzsch, Brayden Pachal, Mick Messner, Charles-Antoine Roy, Bray Crowder, Tim Theocharidis, Mitchell Chaffee, Jermaine Loewen, Keenan Suthers, Gustaf Westlund
What To Watch
- 2019 Draft Picks
Since Peyton Krebs will not be skating, I’ll have my eyes first and foremost on Pavel Dorofeyev. He’s the most offensive-minded of all of the 2019 Draft picks with an impressive ability to hold the puck in the offensive zone. He has an excellent shot with what’s been described as a creative release.
The battle between Korczak and Ahac should be fun to watch as well. They are similar prospects, but Korczak was the one VGK seemed to value more, trading up to get him. But, since both are defense first type defensemen, I’d be surprised if they stand out too much on the ice in drills or scrimmages.
Finally, there’s Donovan and Kallionkieli. Both natural goal scorers with excellent skating and speed, it will be interesting to see how they look against the 2017 and 2018 picks. Can they keep up? Are they there physically? Will they be able to score?
- Slava Demin
Demin missed last year’s camp after being a 4th round pick in 2018. He had a solid freshman year at the University of Denver and it will literally be the first time I’ve seen him play in person. His skating is what excites me the most, would love to see it show up in a big way in camp.
- NHL Ready
In 2017 both Glass and Hauge looked like just regular guys among the bunch. In 2018, Glass started to stand out a bit more with his creativity but still didn’t seem to really drive offense. Hague still looked a little shaky skating, but his offensive game was dominant and he wowed with his toe-drag goals in scrimmages. This year, it’s time for those two to stand out so far beyond everyone else that it almost seems embarrassing they are even at this camp. When Alex Tuch skated with the Golden Knights prospects in 2017, he looked like a dominant force every time he stepped on the ice, that needs to be Glass and Hague, otherwise, I’m going to start doubting they are truly ready to make the big roster.
- Potential Contracts
Last year all of the hoopla was about Jimmy Schuldt, and we all know how that ended up turning out. This year, there’s no Jimmy Schuldt, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few players who are going to deserve a closer look for a contract.
The names that jump to the front of mind are Jermaine Loewen, Mitchell Chaffee, Taro Jentzsch, and Brayden Pachal.
Loewen is a Jamaican-born player who was adopted at the age of three by Canadian parents. His story is phenomenal (read it here) as he became the first player from Jamaican to ever be drafted in the NHL. He was picked in the 2018 Draft by the Stars, but they forfeited his rights after just one year. He’s a big, brusing kid that can score and was the captain of Dylan Ferguson’s Kamloops Blazers.
Chaffee ranked 15th in the entire NCAA with 42 points as a sophomore. He’s a 21-year-old bigger body that knows how to put up points. He’ll likely do that in camp with a group of 18 to 21-year-olds and could be a prospect to keep our eyes on as he heads back to UMass Amherst for his junior season.
Jentzsch shined for the German U20 team and put up good numbers in the QMJHL. He’s a tall, 6’2″, but incredibly thin guy weighing just 152 pounds. He’s a good skater and can definitely put the puck in the net. He also has solid vision. I’ll take him as the standout non-VGK player of this camp.
Pachal is your quintessential Golden Knight. Strong two-way defenseman who plays in all situations, has good skating, tons of skill, and is a good kid. He went undrafted in 2018 and 2019 but clearly, the Golden Knights scouts saw something they liked. He might be the Dylan Coghlan of 2019.
Development Camp is pretty much the worst place for a player who relies on a physical style of game. But, both Primeau and Loewen are so big that it’s going to be impossible for them to not stand out. I want to see forechecking, speed, and them to fit in skill wise. If they do, I’ll feel better about the pick of Primeau and I’ll be barking about the need to sign Loewen. If they don’t, they’ll head into the category of player I’m not enamored with, and it’s hard to get out of there in my mind.
Then there’s Bray Crowder, who is 6’6″ defenseman and plays for Miami (Ohio) in the NCHC. He put up just two points in 36 games and took 24 penalty minutes. Who is this guy and why he is here? There’s got to be a reason, I’m looking forward to figuring it out.
Finally, Keenan Suthers. This 21-year-old is a whopping 6’8″ and plays on the wing! He’s listed at 236 pounds and plays for St. Lawrence University. He attended Penguins camp last year after going undrafted in a few previous drafts. I repeat, this kid is 6’8″ and plays forward, the largest forwards in the NHL are 6’6″ and the largest skater is Zdeno Chara at 6’9″. According to scouting reports I’ve read on him (which were mostly written in 2016) he has some skill and good hockey sense. A 6’8″ forward on the ice wearing a VGK jersey, I’m in.
2019 Development Camp Roster
Forwards (24): Wyatt Bongiovanni, Nick Campoli, Mitchell Chaffee, Ryder Donovan, Pavel Dorofeyev, Jack Dugan, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Taro Jentzsch, Ben Jones, Marcus Kallionkieli, Brandon Kruse, Jake Leschyshyn, Jermaine Loewen, Cole MacKay, Cullen McLean, Mick Messner, Garrett Pinoniemi, Mason Primeau, Jonas Rondbjerg, Charles-Antoine Roy, Zak Smith, Keenan Suthers, Gustaf Westlund
Defensemen (15): Layton Ahac, Xavier Bouchard, Dylan Coghlan, Connor Corcoran, Bray Crowder, Slava Demin, Peter Diliberatore, Nicolas Hague, Kaedan Korczak, Mason Lohrei, Brayden Pachal, Kirby Proctor, Tim Theocharidis, Zach Uens, Mike Vorlicky
Goaltenders (4): Dylan Ferguson, Jordan Kooy, Jiri Patera, Isaiah Saville
2018 Development Camp Roster
Forwards (24): Matt Baker, Tarek Baker, Luke Burghardt, Nick Campoli, Ryan Chyzowski, Paul Cotter, Dawson DiPietro, Jack Dugan, Reid Duke, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Ben Jones, Brett Kemp, Keegan Kolesar, Brandon Kruse, Jake Leschyshyn, Steve Owre, Gage Quinney, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Slaker, Nick Suzuki, Ryan Wagner, Tyler Wong
Defensemen (14): Martin Bodak, Erik Brannstrom, Xavier Bouchard, Dylan Coghlan, Connor Corcoran, Charlie Curti, Peter Diliberatore, Wyatt Ege, Reece Harsch, Nicolas Hague, Bobby Nardella, Corey Schueneman, Jimmy Schuldt, Zach Whitecloud
Goaltenders (4): Jordan Kooy, Jiri Patera, Dylan Ferguson, Maksim Zhukov
2017 Development Camp Roster
Forwards (24): Patrick Bajkov, Alex Barre-Boulet, Kenny Brooks, Nick Campoli, Jack Dugan, Reid Duke, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Jayden Halbgewachs, Brendan Harris, Tomas Hyka, Ben Jones, Keegan Kolesar, Jake Leschyshyn, Josh Melnick, Darian Romanko, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Slaker, Martin Sundberg, Nick Suzuki, Alex Tuch, Max Veronneau, Sebastian Vidmar, Tyler Wong
Defensemen (15): Jake Bischoff, Erik Brannstrom, Nikolas Brouillard, Dylan Coghlan, Wyatt Ege, Max Gottlieb, Nicolas Hague, Grant Hutton, Michael Kim, Dmitry Osipov, Alexey Solovyev, Keoni Texeira, Matthew Timms, Will Warm, Justin Wells
Goaltenders (5): Griffen Outhouse, Jiri Patera, Artur Pavliukov, Logan Thompson, Maksim Zhukov