Rookie camp is right around the corner and the Golden Knights released their roster for both camp and the Rookie Faceoff Tournament in Arizona. The roster includes 14 forwards, 10 defensemen, and three goalies. Of the 27 players, all but six are property of either the Golden or Silver Knights.
Four forwards and two defensemen make up the group of six non-roster invitees. Here’s a bit more on each of them.
Right Wing – Erie Otters (OHL)
A 20-year old winger, D’Amato has shown the ability to put up points in his first two seasons in the OHL. He scored 18 goals in 63 games in 2019-20 after tallying just four in his first season. Like most players the Golden Knights focus on, he’s a 200-foot player with good speed and plays in all situations. D’Amato says his coaches compared his style of play to Anthony Duclair because of their speed, size, and scoring ability.
Center – Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Gaucher is a giant right-handed centerman standing 6’4″ and weighing in at over 200 pounds at the age of 20. He’s spent the last four seasons in the QMJHL with the Val-d’Or Foreurs, serving as an alternate captain each of the past two seasons. His numbers were trending upwards with 24 and 38 points in 2018-19 and 19-20, but he took a step back in the 20-21 shortened season scoring just 11 points in 36 games. He was able to pick up the pace in the playoffs scoring two goals and adding five assists in 12 games in their run to the QMJHL Final where they won nine straight games before bowing out to Victoriaville. He was leaned on defensively as a key penalty killer and in tough defensive spots against the opposition’s top players. Gaucher also won the Marcel-Robert Trophy as the QMJHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year. Scouting reports show him as a high-IQ player that does more away from the puck than he does on it.
Right Wing – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
It wouldn’t be a VGK rookie camp without at least one representative from Kelly McCrimmon’s old stomping grounds. An alternate captain for the Wheat Kings in 2020-21, McCallum was more than a point per game player scoring 27 in 22 games. He’s described as a physically strong player with good hockey sense and skating abilities. In one game this season McCallum netted four goals to help the Wheat Kings win the WHL’s East Division.
Right Wing – Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Pearson played each of the last two seasons in the OHL scoring 14 and 28 goals respectively. After missing last year due to the OHL’s pandemic cancellation, Pearson says he’ll head to PEI if he is not able to secure a professional hockey contract. Pearson is an excellent puck handler with a good shot.
Defenseman – Tri-City Americans (WHL)
This 18-year-old is already physically bigger than 95% of players in the NHL. He’s 6’5″ 220 pounds and plays a punishing style of defense. There’s not much offense to his game having scored just 18 points in 82 career WHL games however. He skates well for his size and shows above-average puck handling. He prefers the wrist shot from the point but does have a fairly powerful slapper as well. He’s usually given top D-pair minutes and is expected to shut down the opposition’s top players.
Defenseman – Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
An offensive-minded defenseman, McCormick averaged a point per game in the shortened 31 game QMJHL season. He’s described as smart defenseman who has good on-ice intelligence. He’s trusted in all situations and is particularly adept with his decision-making on the power play. A scouting report in 2018 described his skating as below-average but said he is able to make up with it by being excellent at gap control defending against the rush.