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Golden Knights Did Their Due Diligence On 2nd Round Pick’s Critical Weakness

It seems almost too obvious to point out, but the fact of the matter is the NHL is a league of skating. The better you can skate, the better you can play.

So, when you flip through the scouting reports of the first player the Golden Knights selected in the Draft this year, there’s good reason for concern. Here are just a few snippets about the 48th overall pick, Matyas Sapovaliv.

His lack of speed doesn’t just affect him in the defensive zone or when coming off of the walls either. His lack of top-end north-south speed forces him to make plays at half speeds more often than a lot of other forwards in transition. –NHL Black Book

He lacks agility and explosiveness, and despite his strong two-way play, he needs to skate backward quicker to improve his defensive abilities. If he wants his offensive prowess to translate to the faster AHL and NHL level, he needs to improve his skating. -Sean Raggio,

Will need to improve his mobility and processing speed as he matures but has middle-six NHL potential. -Nick Richard,

Literally, every in-depth scouting report on Sapovaliv mentions his below-average skating.

It was evident to the Golden Knights too. Assistant Director of Player Personnel Bob Lowes mentioned he and his staff understand the issues with his skating. He also said he believes it’s correctable and that’s why he became a Golden Knight.

We had our skills coach look at his skating to see if he could improve it. We also had our sports science people at the Combine evaluate the athleticism, physical growth, and strength that can happen and they both felt he’s very athletic and the best is yet to come in his skating. -Bob Lowes, VGK Assistant Director of Player Personnel

The Golden Knights see one specific area that can be improved physically.

The thing about his skating is it’s more based on (lacking) strength. He’s very tall and very lean. He’s playing both special teams and 22 minutes a night as a centerman. At times you’d see his stride break down but we’re real confident in our due diligence that this is going to get better and with strength his skating is going to improve. -Lowes

(Photo Credit: @GoldenKnights on Twitter)

According to most scouting reports, this lack of skating speed, explosiveness, and quickness hinders his game in every area.

Yet, despite it, he managed to post 52 points in 68 games in the OHL, score a pair of goals and add seven assists at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, while being widely regarded as one of the best defensive centers in this draft class.

If the Golden Knights are right, and they can turn his skating from a weakness to a strength, they may have found the gem in the 2nd round. But, if the improvement is not vast, he has almost no chance of making an impact at the NHL level.


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  1. Jeffrey Kay

    I’m not too too concerned with Sapovaliv’s apparent lack of speed at this point. After all Mark Stone himself had the same knock on him coming out of junior. The problem usually is two-fold. One, these are teenagers that haven’t finished filling out yet. Their metabolisms are sky high and they are playing a ton of hockey so they don’t properly put on muscle mass that can improve their overall game. And two, a lot of these kids have only been introduced to weight training (at least relating to performance based objectives) in junior. The men and women who train athletes at the NHL level are much more adept at addressing weaknesses and tailoring workouts to work on them.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    can someone please say it

    SAY IT

    Cody Glass II

    there I said it, now deal with it.

    • knights fan in minny

      you are bitter bitter bitter

    • knights fan in minny

      hockey dunce i have your ip address now deal with it

      • Arnold Rothstein

        you are the stalker here, and you are in big trouble.

        What do cyberstalkers do?
        The common denominator in cyberstalking is technology, with the use of electronic communication, social media, and other technology to commit crimes.

        Each cyberstalking case is different, but a look at recent cases reveals that cyberstalkers commonly engage in identity theft and other criminal behaviors. Many cyberstalkers use a blend of online and physical harassment and intimidation. Here are some common cyberstalking behaviors:

        Blackmailing a victim using personal information or photos.
        Making false accusations about a victim online.
        Publicly posting derogatory statements about a victim.
        Posing as a victim online to cause harm to their life or career.
        Tracking someone’s online activity or physical location.
        Making death threats or other overt threats of violence.
        Sending threatening doctored photos of the victim or their family.
        “Doxing” a victim by publishing their private information online.
        Destroying or manipulating data by sending a virus to a victim’s devices.

        How to report cyberstalking
        If you encounter someone who’s engaging in cyberstalking behaviors and it seems serious, or if you begin to receive threats, you should report it to the police. Keep in mind many police departments have cybercrime units.

        The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also runs the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). You can also file a complaint online to report cyberstalking and other cybercrimes to the FBI.

        If you are a cyberstalking victim, keep copies of any messages or images that would serve as proof of the harassment. Take screenshots and keep a log of the dates and times you receive messages.

        If you suspect that someone is using spyware software to track your everyday activities, and you believe you may be in danger, only use public computers or telephones to seek help.

        It’s important to report cyberstalking, and get help right away, to keep you and your family safe.

        you have been reported, this site’s web master is condoning your behavior they have been reported too. They are complicit in your actions , enabling you.

        Expect action soon. You are need help you are acting like a psycho with creepy behavior tendencies.

        • knights fan in minny

          blah blah blah you love to hear yourself talk fraudster

        • Carl

          Is this a recruiting ad for the FBI? Or are you just full of yourself?

          • Arnold Rothstein

            Carl my post above addresses the cyber stalking repeated done on this site by knights fan in minny who repeatedly harasses and stalks one poster without cause. He has been reported. The FBI is only listed as a reference and outlet for people who feel they are being cyber stalked like this sicko individual has done over the past few months.

            This person’s posts and behavior have been documented and filed. The webmaster has been reported for allowing this sicko to stalk and harass the same person over and over again.

            He has admitted his crimes on prior articles. He is being investigated.

    • The Hockey Atheist

      Show me on the doll where the Golden Knights hurt you.

  3. Dmo

    Everything is “a fixer-upper” when your in salary cap hell…

  4. Obvious

    Doesn’t matter who Vegas drafts. Fat bastard panics and deals them anyway. He could care a less about developing any young talent. Case in point… Suzuki. Nothing but trade bait. At least they recognize they suck at young player development. Unfortunately fat bastard sucks at most other things as well…. Except filling his face at buffets

    • knights fan in minny

      are you related to the hockey dunce just asking?

      • Obvious

        I’m wrong dunce cap?

        Fat bastard gave Suzuki away

        What draft pick has Vegas developed into a top 6 player? None. Despite starting with a mountain of draft picks.

        And pylon Krebs… what a waste of a draft pick. Complete waste. Ended past season with the worst plus minus of the 265 rookies. Not worth a pile of pucks

        • THE hockey GOD

          obvious , although I don’t agree with you 100% of time; the creep sicko stalker idiot has no business on this site. No added value on none of this person’s posts. Just a troll and psycho creep. Most people hate him here, because all he does is post hate, followed by more hate, including insults.

          A case file is being compiled, his IP address has been included. Authorities are investigating this sick freak.

          • I will direct my comments to you. I don’t pay much attention to the analyst’s who trash this kid as slow, middle 6 at best. I’m in the Mike Ditka camp on evaluating a young talent. He once said it’s good that a guy can run a 4.4 40, or bench 315 pounds 10 times but is the guy a “football” player. So I ask, “is he a hockey player” ?? Does he quit when something goes sideways ? Is he tough ?? Does he have the intangible’s ? Skating is important, yes, but this isn’t a race around an oval, it’s about cohesion, about never quiting it’s about the other guys on the ice. Skating ?? Dorothy Hamill is a terrific skater, but I wouldn’t want her fighting for a puck on the boards. Is it me ? But, psycho has a point, no more dumping young guys, after all, we don’t want to end up like Buffalo, who has for year after year just getting their asses just kicked. But, they got 2 guys who we “dumped”, one a beast, a blur on the ice and unlike “psycho” I liked Krebs, Buffalo could be a sleeper, I mean, eventually everyone gets laid. Buffalo scored on this deal. If Eichel doesn’t score 40 goals and 40 assists we got robbed and McKrimmon needs to be fired.

          • knights fan in minny

            blah blah blah another clown who likes to hear himself talk

          • knights fan in minny

            your a fraud perry mason

          • knights fan in minny

            that’s funny coming from the insult king himself the hockey dunce

          • Erik Vornoff

            He hasn’t posted one hockey comment. He’s just cracking on you. He’s stalking you.

    • Pistol Pete

      Obvious belongs in Seattle.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    Vegas Golden Knights: C

    Life in the NHL is going to catch up with the Vegas Golden Knights soon. As the team should know, the house always wins. And with fewer and fewer chips in the prospect pool, that time is coming. Taking Matyas Sapovaliv at 48th was good value, but beyond his selection, there is little guaranteed NHL help on the way from this group.

    from yahoo sports

  6. THE hockey GOD

    Vegas Golden Knights

    Grade: C

    First rounders: None

    Day 2 picks: Matyas Sapovaliv, C; Jordan Gustafson, C; Cameron Whitehead, G; Patrick Guay, C; Ben Hemmerling, RW; Abram Wiebe, D

    Analysis: There was a time where Sapovaliv was getting first-round buzz. He’s got the frame and some good skills, but we just need to see it more consistently. Jordan Gustafson was a late-riser this season and his play really drove things for Seattle at various points of this postseason. Meanwhile, Cameron Whitehead put together a very strong season in the USHL and is about to head to Northeastern University where he’ll be part of a battery that includes top prospect Devon Levi. Without a first-rounder this year, the Golden Knights weren’t going to be able to make much fo a dent in a prospect pool that has been largely impacted by trades in recent years. It’s a decent enough class for where they were able to pick this year.

    from another hockey analyst

  7. Obvious

    They had a first round pick and took pylon Krebs when most teams passed

    And how did he work out? Complete shit. And for that pick it was a huge pile of shit. Thank fat bastard for that disaster

  8. Mike StG

    Vegas is in win-now mode, and they’re pot committed as they say. Avs had no picks this draft until Rd 6. Bolts don’t have 1sts for 2 years. They both traded their picks to try and get their teams over the top, which they did. You can’t have it both ways – win now AND draft for the future.

    IMO, Vegas will not beat the Avs next year (even with the many key players Avs are set to lose due to the cap). They have to make a significant upgrade in their offense if they are going to have any chance. So, I say they go all in and see if they can land Patrick Kane.

    Hawks basically are forcing Kane’s hand. He didn’t want to waive his NMC, so they traded away their best young players to do a complete tear down. DeBrincat, Dach, Hagel gone. No QO to Strome. So now Kane, Brisson and Hawks are set to talk early this week. Kane would have to agree to go wherever he is traded. Maybe Vegas can swing a deal? Avs are probably in that mix as well. Seeing what the Hawks got for DeBrincat maybe Vegas can deal Roy and 2023 1st for Kane, who has just 1 year left on his contract. CHI would have to retain a lot, probably the full 50%. But they would have to do that with the Avs and probably the Isles as well.

    Add Patty to Vegas’s top 6 and that is a significant upgrade in scoring and to the whole team. Even losing Marty they have a solid Top 4 defense – Petro/McNabb, Theo/Zach. And bottom pair with Hutton & Hague.

    Incremental improvements will not be sufficient. The team will age out in the next 2-3 years. Just as the Avs recognized this was the year they needed to win it all, given cap constraints that will become an issue next year, and so they went all in to win, so it’s now Vegas’s time to push all in with bold moves.

    If they don’t then they’ll probably continue being a good team making playoffs for several years to come, but since they’ll be middle of the pack they will never get the high lottery draft picks need to add elite young players to their prospect pool. Eventually they will become another team that perennially resides in the mushy middle.

    • knights fan in minny

      stg what do you think seth jones feels about the hawk’s house cleaning it could be a couple bad years in the windy city

    • THE hockey GOD

      mike I don’t see VGK doing that deal for Kane, he’s 34 years old ! (he’d fit in with the golden years VGK theme ??! )

      Anyone following the draft knows that the Hawks GM stated they are clearly on a five year rebuild. He stated it repeatedly.

      Their no. 1 veteran player, Patrick Kane, doesn’t want to be part of it

      • knights fan in minny

        the grape stomper might surprise you

      • Mike StG

        ThG – exactly my point. “Since the draft” it’s been clear Hawks are tearing it all down. Prior to that they asked Kane to waive his NMC and he wouldn’t. But apparently he’s changing his mind now after what they did.

        A Vegas trade for Kane wouldn’t be long term. It would be a gambit to radically impact the team. Incremental, small changes and tweaks will not be sufficient to beat even next year’s Avs. They have to do something big and Pat Kane would be really big – not at TD but from start of szn to give him a chance to fit in with the offensive scheme. In the past 5 years the only player with more points than Kane is McDavid. He is still a game changer.

        I agree it’s not likely to happen, but they’re not good enough now. And adding a lesser player (for example, Connor Garland, Kappo Kakko, Mikheyev) won’t make a difference. If they don’t take this risk (like Avs and Bolts both did) I don’t think they’ll win a cup with this group. They just don’t have enough offensive firepower.

  9. Mike StG

    Minny- I thin Seth is dreading the next 3 or 4 years. Toews is likely to play out his last year and probably retire after that. Who knows? Hawks might not qualify Kubalik either. They definitely going for Bedard.

  10. Tim

    As Obvious stated above draft picks mean zero to the Knights management. If you’ve been following the team from the beginning you’ll recall McFee stating that draft picks were perishable commodities. From the start they never had any intention of grooming draft picks the model has always been trade draft choices for experience players. After 5 years of signing draft picks and college free agents who has helped Whitecloud and Hague thats our development program good luck with that. This second rounder we pick can’t skate which equates to can’t play in the NHL. Welcome to Dollar Loan Center the graveyard of Knights draft choices.

  11. arnold rothstein

    “knights fan in minny
    that’s funny coming from the insult king himself the hockey dunce

    JULY 9, 2022

    Erik Vornoff
    He hasn’t posted one hockey comment. He’s just cracking on you. He’s stalking you.”

    That is correct Erik he has over 60 counts of illegal stalking of ThG, and of those he has insulted over 45 times. He is by far “the insult king”. A very large file of record has been compiled and daily updates are being forwarded to proper authorities. The more he does it, the greater the penalties will be. Jail time ? Who knows, maybe he wants a new BFF with name of Bubba. Based upon his racist comments to a guy from north Las Vegas, that would be justice served to this warped whack job that nobody seems to like on this site for constant needless harassment and trolling.

    • knights fan in minny

      how do you know no one likes me did you do a secret poll crawl back in your hole arnold the fraud?

    • knights fan in minny

      are you and the hockey dunce partners or lovers

  12. arnold rothstein

    let’s do a historical recap, I comment on hockey games, odds, wagers, and probability of profit. I had an over 80% win rate and over 100% return. Being in off season on hockey there isn’t much to say now on this topic.

    You on other hand have attacked, harassed, stalked, and insulted various individuals repeatedly on this site, with a viciousness never seen here. This says a lot about your mental status. You have attacked numerous people that I am wary of. Including someone names Alex, a TS alex, a north las vegas person all raining down racial epitaphs. Not good, this is hate speech which is illegal. Then you moved on to ThG , then you moved on to a person named obvious.

    your “act is old” , you lie about insulting people, you offer nothing in return of value to anyone here.

    you are complete waste of time, and obviously need clinical help.

    seek therapy because you will need to show some sort of favorable reparation efforts to mitigate the penalties the FEDS are going to come down on you . Serving a jail cell with Bubba when you can do therapy , community service, or volunteering time may give Judge some outs for you that the DA could live with.

    • knights fan in minny

      i profit i have a win rate stop bragging no one likes a bragger you little child

      • arnold rothstein

        and yet you can’t dispute any of findings against you

        lawyer up chump

        bubba is waiting for you

    • knights fan in minny

      i see your little circle thing is the same as the hockey dunce how come the dunce is not threating me anymore i bet yourthe same person

  13. the hockey God

    i am so at this training camp !!!

    VEGAS (July 9, 2022) – The Vegas Golden Knights announced today, July 9, the roster for the team’s 2022 Development Camp presented by Martin-Harris Construction at City National Arena, which will be held from Monday, July 11 through Saturday, July 16. The 2022 Development Camp roster features 44 players, including 24 forwards, 16 defensemen and four goaltenders.

    Both ice sheets at City National Arena will be in use during Development Camp, and all practice sessions are open to the public.

    Forwards: Daniil Bourash, Jakub Brabenec, Brendan Brisson, Daniel D’Amato, Zach Dean, Ryder Donovan, Mark Estapa, Connor Ford, Patrick Guay, Jordan Gustafson, Ben Hemmerling, Marcus Kallionkieli, Jackson Hallum, Joey Larson, Justin Lies, Ryan McAllister, Ivan Morozov, Nolan Moyle, Nick Poisson, Nolan Ritchie, Matyas Sapovaliv, Wilmer Skoog, Carter Souch, Alex Swetlikoff

    Defensemen: Layton Ahac, Daniil Chayka, Artur Cholach, Connor Corcoran, Lukas Cormier, Noah De La Durantaye, Noah Ellis, Joe Fleming, Jacob Guevin, Steve Holtz, Kaedan Korczak, Luke Krys, Will Riedell, Jace Weir, Abram Wiebe, Cooper Wylie

    Goaltenders: Carl Lindbom, Isaiah Saville, Jesper Vikman, Cameron Whitehead

    No. Name Position

    4 Joe Fleming Defenseman
    5 Daniil Chayka Defenseman
    6 Kaedan Korczak Defenseman
    8 Jace Weir Defenseman
    11 Ivan Morozov Forward
    12 Jakub Brabenec Forward
    18 Zach Dean Forward
    24 Brendan Brisson Forward
    25 Matyas Sapovaliv Forward
    26 Will Riedell Defenseman
    31 Isaiah Saville Goaltender
    32 Jesper Vikman Goaltender
    34 Cameron Whitehead Goaltender
    35 Carl Lindbom Goaltender
    37 Alex Swetlikoff Forward
    38 Jordan Gustafson Forward
    40 Lukas Cormier Defenseman
    44 Layton Ahac Defenseman
    45 Carter Souch Forward
    47 Patrick Guay Forward
    48 Noah Ellis Defenseman
    51 Nolan Ritchie Forward
    53 Marcus Kallionkieli Forward
    56 Artur Cholach Defenseman
    59 Jackson Hallum Forward
    60 Connor Ford Forward
    62 Cooper Wylie Defenseman
    64 Daniil Bourash Forward
    63 Ben Hemmerling Forward
    70 Ryder Donovan Forward
    73 Wilmer Skoog Forward
    74 Nolan Moyle Forward
    75 Noah De La Durantaye Defenseman
    76 Steve Holtz Defenseman
    78 Luke Krys Defenseman
    80 Ryan McAllister Forward
    82 Abram Wiebe Defenseman
    83 Daniel D’Amato Forward
    84 Nick Poisson Forward
    85 Connor Corcoran Defenseman
    86 Jacob Guevin Defenseman
    89 Justin Lies Forward
    92 Joey Larson Forward
    96 Mark Estapa Forward

    • the hockey God

      i will be watching 11 , 40, 59 and 73 with both eyes open, we all know about Dean and 24. I expect goalie Isaih Saville to have a break through training camp.

      Will be saying hello to Ken and Jason if they are there, as usual.

  14. THE hockey God

    i am hoping this camp will be better than last one, but I expect it won’t be as good as inaugural one which featured some highly touted college kids that , to date, never panned out.

  15. THE hockey God

    hmmm interesting, no Mason Primeau ?? must be recovering from injury ?

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