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Stock Up, Stock Down: 2022 Rookie Faceoff

(Photo Credit: Rob Schneidmiller, Ice Time Southwest)

The Golden Knights rookies finished off the annual Rookie Faceoff tournament in San Jose with a record of 1-1-1, winning on Friday against Arizona. Most VGK prospects participated in two games with a few hitting the ice for all three. Goalie Jesper Vikman started the second two games while Isaiah Saville played the first and came on halfway through the third.

We’ll have a full update to the SinBin Prospect Rankings towards the end of main training camp, so for now let’s just highlight a few guys whose stock is rising and a few whose stock is falling.

Stock Up

(Photo Credit: Scott Strande, Ice Time Southwest)

Artur Cholach

Prior to this tournament in his time with the Golden Knights, the 6th round pick was most known for representing Ukraine at the most recent Draft. After this tournament, he’s should be known much more for what he does on the ice than where he’s from off it. Cholach looked like a dominant shutdown defenseman in all three games. Each of the first two games he was paired with an offensive-minded defenseman and he held down the fort as his partner ventured forward. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s positionally sound.

Ben Hemmerling

The most notable aspect of Hemmerling’s game this weekend was his motor. Quite simply, he never stops. You can find him busting his butt all over the ice trying to make the next play no matter how far away he is from the puck. There’s still a ways to go in his offensive game, but the groundwork is there. Playing against him has to be such a pain.

Mason Primeau

The big guy is showing a lot more to his game than just being physically imposing. He’s a strong forechecker and uses his long stick and reach to make life difficult on defensemen trying to exit. He also has much better hands than what the pre-draft scouting reports said about him. He looks like he can definitely play consistently in the AHL and there may even be an NHL future.

Matyas Sapovaliv

You have to really be paying attention to see the impact Sapovaliv is having on the game, but once you start to see it you can’t stop. He’s an absolute menace forechecking and he skates well enough to disrupt plays as a backchecker. There’s not a lot of flash to his game and I doubt there ever will be but he does a lot of things well that many NHLers don’t.

Stock Down

Ivan Morozov

At age 22 and having played professionally for a few years now, Morozov should have been able to dominate this tournament. The only place he did that was at the faceoff dot where he probably lost two draws the entire weekend (he probably took 30). He turns the puck over far too often and his decision-making in both the offensive and defensive zones is suspect. The good news is that he’s positionally sound and he works hard to atone for any mistakes he does make. There was a time he looked like the most NHL-ready prospect in the system. Now, he may be 6th or 7th in line.

Zach Dean

The Golden Knights attempted to try Dean on the wing for the first game of the tournament and it did not go well at all. He looked uncomfortable on the puck and seemed to be behind the play off of it. The bursts of speed still show up in his game, which is exciting, but as a 1st round pick there has to be more and Dean just didn’t show it. He’s coming off injury and his linemates didn’t do a ton to make the game easier on him though so it’s certainly nowhere close to time to write him off.

Connor Corcoran

Penalty trouble was the biggest issue for Corcoran this weekend, but there also were some struggles in the defensive zone. On multiple occasions, he was either out of position or unable to win a stick battle which led to dangerous chances against. Offensively though, there’s definitely something there. He has good instincts on when to jump into a play and he looks comfortable handling he puck at the blue line. Plus, his shot is pretty deadly, as the Kings goalie learned when Corcoran zipped one past him on Saturday.


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  1. THE hockey GOD

    i’d give Morozov a bit of a pass. He just came over from Russia so some times it takes awhile to acclimate. He did win every face off. I’d give him half a season in AHL before making final call. But expectations were higher, and he could have been better.

    Overall I thought the team played “the system” as well as to be expected. Game 1, saw line four completely dominated by opposing team’s line. Mainly due to match up on VGK being “away” team. Game 2 saw line four, with Lies, Swetlikoff ( i believe) and no. 75 playing better. Except they had extended line shift that led to goal, and no. 75 blew game by bone headed play at end leading to OT.

    Overall no flashy or skilled players popped up. Game two playing the system led to a tie game, and more skilled LAKs won shoot out two to zero.

    I thought Brisson looked over matched at times even though he scored two goals in game one.

    Cormier the dman looked the same to me as last year, and should have upped his game. Too inconsistent to my liking, but he’s young and maybe will be able to pick things up after another year of development.

    VGK seem to have to many “smallish” players on roster like Cormier, Brisson, Guay.

    Their goons, Fleming and no 75 Souch or Souce, cost them more often times than not.

    Ahac (the Capt of Silver Knights) played extremely well. And paired with Korczak were THE best VGK players. They aren’t flashy but they got the job done. I wouldn’t be surprised if both don’t make the main team as a pair,sooner than later, this season.

    Both goalies played well. Although Saville played better in game 1. But in game 3 he got the short shift and came in half way through the game with some goals scored on him.

    Overall in summary the VGK rookies played a lot better than expected in my opinion. Game 1 and 2 were very close. Game 3 the Ducks pretty much dominated the VGK and easily could have put more goals in the net. But the “team play” of VGK rookies kept it close. d

  2. Tyler Durden

    Stock down – Mark Stone hair don’t care. Can’t even swing a golf club at the charity event today

  3. Ogie Ogilthorpe

    I know this would be blasphemous but I thought VGK should have traded either Theodore or Hague this offseason, finally moving a player when value was HIGH instead of dumping low like they always do. They could have garnered some assets with one of those moves and made room for Korczak (or Ahac) to move up. KK seems like a perfect match for what Cassidy wants to do and he seems ready to make the jump.

    I’m not convinced Shea’s game will thrive in Cassidy’s system and they could have gotten real value for him. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe that’s just a hot take, but I would have supported a move like that.

  4. Obvious

    So in other words the cupboards empty. Nothing but crumbs left in the minors and injury plagued geriatric ward in the show. Good job fat bastard

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