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Stock Up: 2023 Rookie Faceoff

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was a weekend to forget from a team perspective for the Golden Knights at the 2023 Rookie Faceoff hosted here in Las Vegas. VGK rookies lost all three games to the Ducks, Sharks, and Avalanche, and struggled on both ends in all three games.

That being said, it wasn’t all bad individually for many prospects. Here are four that stood out positively for me.

Layton Ahac

Ahac did his best Alex Martinez impression in the two games he played this weekend, blocking shots, dominating on the penalty kill, and being one of the most consistent defensemen on the roster in making the first pass in the defensive zone. In a pair of games where the Golden Knights were consistently under pressure, he looked calm in his own end and his decision-making stood out among a group that had a hard time breaking the puck out. He’ll still need to show a lot at the AHL level to get a shot in the NHL, but he’s trending in a positive direction.

Daniil Chayka

What jumped out most about Chayka was how he took command while he was on the ice. A physical presence on the ice, Chayka uses his body well both in front of the net and along the walls. His long, strong stick also gives him an advantage over just about every forward he comes up against. That command extends to his voice on the ice as well. He’s one of the most talkative players on the ice constantly directing traffic and helping his teammates out of difficult situations. Before this weekend, I was sure Kaedan Korczak was the first in line for a call-up when VGK needed a defense-first defenseman, now, I’m wondering if Chayka and Ahac can push him enough to wrestle that spot away.

Jakub Demek

Demek is the exact type of player the Golden Knights have been looking for over the course of the last few seasons. A big forward who skates well and lives in front of the net. His forechecking was tenacious in all three games and while it didn’t lead to too much offensively (though he did have a dandy of an assist off a play started by a ref-deflected pass), he was never discouraged and continued to pursue every puck. His work rate in the offensive zone is excellent too. When he has the puck he typically makes the right decision and the moment he gives it up, he’s heading to the net. He still has a lot to prove before he’s ready for an NHL look, but the arrow is definitely pointing up.

Ty Cheveldayoff

The undrafted camp invitee played all three games on the fourth line with a rotating cast of linemates. In all three games, he was the standout player on the line. He did score a goal with a nicely placed shot off the rush that beat the goalie clean, but it was more about his nose for the puck that made him pop during the games. He seems to have a knack for how to support his teammates both when his team has the puck and when they are trying to get it back. He uses his size well and was one of VGK’s most consistent players along the walls. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s officially part of the Vegas system in the near future.


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  1. Pistol Pete

    Will be interesting to see how Brisson does in camp and the preseason. I have heard he’s working hard on his 200 ft. game. That is a big piece. Defending at the NHL level. To guess, he needs more time in Henderson. No way does he beat out Dorodeyev, Cotter and possibly Comtois. Not to start the season. Not sure how they find the cap space to sign him but Comtois would be the 14th forward on the roster.

  2. Jailbird

    Ok ok thanks thanks for the rookie stuff. Now let’s get ready for the big boys. Let’s go!

  3. Danny Gallivan

    I expect that this will be the last season here for Martinez….not because of his performance, which has been good, but because this is the last year of his contract, and the only way they can afford to give new contracts to Marchy and Stephenson is to let Marty walk.

  4. Jailbird

    How about we play the season first before worrying about maybe’s.

    • Jailbird – the smartest remark and post I have read from you. Congratulations! When I make comments of that nature, I am considered negative. You might be a realist after all. Maybe we are more alike than you want to admit.

      • Jailbird

        Would be a big stretch to think we are alike, hd. My comment was really based on the fact I’m an older guy and future years don’t mean much to me. I’m all about NOW! It’s just we haven’t even started the season yet, and talk about players leaving and stuff months from now, if even happens. Let’s all enjoy the season and let it happen, eh!

  5. What makes you believe l to am not an older guy. With age comes wisdom and l have been around hockey a life time a very long life time. Never mistake realism and critical assessment as negativity as many on this site are anxious to do. That is where we seem to differ. More alike than you think.

  6. Richie-Rich

    Wow Ken. No mention for Luka Cormier. He had the highest hockey IQ. Sure he was out of position once or twice in games 1 and 2. I didn’t see the Avs game. I agree on the others. Goaltending wasn’t horrible, but the rookies were overall as a team.

    • THE hockey GOD

      Vickman was OK, not great, game two goalie on other hand. 26 year old rookie? Why? VGK has more young goalies, why not bring one of them ? What does that say about organization feeling about their goal tending youts. I mean youth>? I know Isiah was hurt, but they have others.

      Cormier just plain didn’t do enough, he was often outmatched and offensively the other team was ready for him. I view him as trade bait, like the other under sized d man they had and traded to get Mark Stone. VGK seem to like trees on defense, and Cormier doesn’t fit that plan.

  7. Jailbird

    The defending Stanley Cup Champions open camp today. Giddy up! Also, cox channel 38 comes online Thursday.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “The Golden Knights open training camp Thursday at City National Arena and try to become the third team since the turn of the century to win back-to-back titles. “

  8. Bobby

    Got my air antenna stick “max free hd” hooked up, to watch on Vegas34. What’s old, is new again.

  9. Richie-Rich

    What is the make and model of the air antenna stick? My plan is to stream using nhl dot 66 dot ir. Is Vegas34 available on any streaming service, Hulu?, YouTubeTV?, Fubo TV?

    • THE hockey GOD

      R R
      the signal is pretty strong.
      If you have local antenna you may be able to pick it up. Have you tried? You may not need any. Channel 34 is broadcasting now.

      The channel is not available on hulu, youtubetv, or fubo tv as far as I know.

  10. Richie-Rich

    I don’t have local antenna. What brand do you have?

    • THE hockey GOD

      What kind of TV do you have ? There is much more involved than tv antenna brand. Must consider type of TV, smart? Location of antenna, your location, etc etc. etc

      I have ANTOP AT-101B Smartpass-Amplified Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna or equal. It doesn’t pick up all the local stations though. I have problems getting 25.2 25.3 etc. and channels in 8 series. Sunspot activity also throws the antenna off. Once you scan in and get all the stations, try to avoid re scanning them; because some will drop off.

      There are plenty of issues with this. Some times you have to unplug the antenna, auto scan with antenna connection off, then re scan with antenna connected. It’s a mess of sorts. Some times the TV monitor can pick up stations without antenna being connected. What a mess.

  11. Jailbird

    Sure glad I can simply watch Vegas34 on cox channel 38.

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