In 2010, the Ottawa Senators took a flier in the 6th round on an 18-year-old awkward skater from Winnipeg. The Golden Knights took a similar chance in the 5th round in 2017 on Jack Dugan, a player with close to the same build.
As a young player, I had to do a lot of things to even make it here… I wasn’t a very good skater. That was documented when I was 12 years old. Everyone told me I couldn’t skate. -Mark Stone
Going back to the 2012 NHL draft, only 106 of the 729 players selected in the 5th round or later have suited up to play in an NHL game. Only 28 have played more than 100 games.
A few have been successful in the NHL, but none have become elite like Stone. The former Wheat King, Senator, and current Golden Knight is an outlier when it comes to late draft picks. Stone has enjoyed eight seasons in the NHL, scoring 385 points, 601 takeaways, and is valued at $9.5M per year. Finding a player with that resume after the first three rounds takes incredible scouting, trust, and let’s face it, luck.
We’re still probably a year or two away from Jack Dugan even breaking into the NHL, but he’s trending in the direction of a late-round steal just like Stone.
At the time of the draft, Dugan’s scouting reports were lukewarm. Some thought he had the skill and eventual size to play a bottom-six role in the NHL.
Jack Dugan Scouting Reports:
The Hockey News Every draft has sleepers, dark horses and late bloomers and Dugan may be a hidden gem that encompasses all three. A big, aggressive and raw talent who was passed over.
Dobber Prospects Dugan is a late bloomer who is big, aggressive and is loaded with raw talent.
HockeyProspect.com Black Book Isn’t a smooth skater but moves well and handles the puck at his top speed. We like his potential, has size, skill and a good hockey IQ.
Mark Stones Scouting Reports:
Hockey’s Future Probability of success: C The size and hands are there as is the willingness to work the boards and get to the dirty areas. The one noticeable weakness is his choppy stride which he’s working on and has spent time with the Ottawa skating coach improving his foot-speed. Smart on the ice and well-spoken off of it, Stone has the talent, intensity and work ethic to get himself to the NHL in time.
The City of Henderson and the Vegas Golden Knights are set to take the final step in approving the construction of a 6,000-seat arena to house the AHL franchise coming to Vegas/Henderson.
At the May 19th Henderson City Council meeting, the council will be presented with an agenda item to enter into a financial agreement between the city and SK Arena LLC, a limited liability company set up by the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate the arena.
Photo credit: City of Henderson Powerpoint Presentation for May 19th meeting
If approved, the agreement will call for each party to commit $40 million to the project plus an additional $2 million toward contingencies. That means the arena is expected to cost $80 million with the City of Henderson and the Vegas Golden Knights entering into an agreement to split the cost 50/50.
The city’s proposal includes $25 million to be taken from the $60 million bond that was approved on April 21st. The remaining money will be allocated from the Henderson redevelopment agency ($16 million) and from insurance proceeds ($1 million).
According to the proposed agreement, construction of the arena must begin no later than August 1st, 2020, and the AHL team is expected to play their home games in the arena for the 2022-23 season.
The lease calls for an annual rent of $150,000 with a 2% increase each year. The lease term is 20 years which means the rent will be around $218,000 in the final year.
All references to the Golden Knights portion of the agreement are listed as SK Arena LLC or SK Team LLC. These companies were filed by Golden Knights attorneys in November 2019 and June 2019 respectively.
As we’ve been reporting since the news broke that the AHL was coming to Henderson, the team name will be the Henderson Silver Knights. SK Arena and SK Team are just another set of clues hinting towards that name.
The construction agreement will be approved at the Henderson City Council’s May 19th meeting scheduled to begin at 10:30 am.
Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020
Like it or not, the AHL is coming to Henderson and a 6,000 seat arena will be built on the site of the existing Henderson Pavilion. Many Henderson residents have voiced their opinions over the past few months since the project was announced. Yesterday, the City of Henderson conducted a “virtual town hall” in which they attempted to respond to as many of the concerns their citizens have over the project.
The two-hour town hall, which was hosted virtually using Cisco Webex, took on concerns over traffic, infrastructure, parking, job creation, timing, building operations, and a few more topics.
The most time was spent on traffic, an issue that was of major concern when the city hosted three consecutive public meetings back in March. The city’s presented solution was initially to build a tunnel to alleviate traffic coming and going from the arena, but that idea was nixed and now they believe any traffic congestion can be solved with the installation of new “adaptive” traffic lights.
An expert spent about 20 minutes explaining the benefits of the modern traffic lights that respond to traffic patterns in real-time.
Increasing people in the area drives an increase in traffic and congestion. The real solution to that is adaptive traffic signals which control the flow of traffic. The signals detect the presence of vehicles at the stop line and approaching the intersections. This system then allows progression through that road network. -Ian Machen, CEO of Ludian (traffic signal expert)
The other topic that took up the majority of the presentation was parking. A study showed that a 6,000 seat stadium would need about 1,200 to 1,400 on-site parking spaces to accommodate all attendees and arena employees.
They indicated that not only can they fit that number of spaces in the existing area, but they can do it without the construction of a multi-level parking structure and without disturbing the nearby library or multigenerational center.
Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020
We looked at the event venue itself and the area around it as to what is the availability. We generally tested out the square footage and land area and determined that depending on landscaping and the configuration of the roadways that there is the feasibility in the planning level of obtaining 1,200 to 1,400 car spaces with the border of the site. -Ken Ackeret, Principal of Kimley Horn (parking expert)
In addition to the town hall, the city released an economic impact study conducted by Applied Analysis to show the job creation that will result from the construction of the arena.
We’ve discussed countless times the future of the NHL roster including free agents such as Robin Lehner, Ryan Reaves, Deryk Engelland, and others, but the look of AHL roster is a different story.
With the minor league affiliate moving to Henderson, it’s likely that we’ll all want to be a little more familiar with the everyday roster than many were when they were in Chicago. So, I decided to look at all three positions and attempt to project who will be on the AHL roster when the league starts up the 2020-21 season. Then, at the end, I take a stab at guessing the first lineup the Silver Knights roll out when they step on the ice for the first time at Orleans Arena.
(Also, since this is a projection article, I’m using the name Henderson Silver Knights. Of all projections in this article, that’s the one I’m most confident about getting right.)
Bold = Projected to be on roster * = Signed AHL contract
Under Contract: Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Leschyshyn, Lucas Elvenes, Brandon Pirri, Paul Cotter, Ben Jones, Patrick Brown, Tyrell Goulbourne RFA: Reid Duke, Gage Quinney, Keegan Kolesar UFA: Curtis McKenzie, Valentin Zykov, Tye McGinn*, Jermaine Loewen* Unsigned: JackDugan
There aren’t too many question marks surrounding the group of forwards that will be with the Silver Knights next season. There are eight forwards under contract and most are expected to at least start the season in the AHL. Elvenes is the one that may potentially push in camp to make the NHL roster, but with the logjam of forwards currently on the Golden Knights, Elvenes’ waiver-exempt status likely means he’s wearing silver instead of gold when camp breaks. Pirri is an interesting case with the team moving to Henderson. One of the biggest benefits to the Vegas organization to Pirri was the fact that if he’s not in the NHL, he’s in Chicago, closer to his family. He has one year left on his deal, so he doesn’t have a ton of power, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he politely asks for a trade, one Vegas would likely grant.
The RFA class is an interesting one as all three have been recalled to the NHL during their time with the Wolves and Quinney and Kolesar both made NHL appearances. No reason to let any of the three of them walk. Don’t really see a place on the NHL roster for any of them straight out of camp though.
Dugan is a bit of a wild card as we would have expected a contract to have been signed by now if he were indeed ready to leave college. There’s no rush with the sports world paused, so it still could get done any day (which I expect to eventually happen), but every day that passes has to make you wonder a little more if he’s headed back to Providence. In the end, he’s a pro player, and he should be a Silver Knight next season.
The plan is to replace the current Henderson Pavilion with a state of the art hockey arena to serve as the permanent home of the AHL team The Creator recently purchased. The team was set to practice at the new facility being built on Water St., play at Orleans Arena for the next few years, and then move to the future arena on the corner of Green Valley and Paseo Verde.
Obviously, the shutdown of the league, and the world for that matter, caused by the coronavirus will present some challenges, but the issues go well beyond that in the eyes of many Henderson residents.
Stories recently published on KNPR and in the Review-Journal show Henderson and the Golden Knights appear to have different ideas than those who live and work in the arena.
Basically there were three meetings, they were hour-long meetings, exact same presentation. Packed packed meeting rooms and long lines to get to the next one… This wasn’t really a meeting in support of this hockey team and this new venue that would support it, these were people who seemed pretty concerned about this new venue in their neighborhood. -Mike Prevatt, KNPR
The issues range from minor to major with the minor ones surrounding traffic and parking while the major issue wondering about the way in which the city is going about making the arena a reality and how much of the money to pay for it is coming out of Henderson residents’ pockets.
Mayor Debra March has said Henderson would pay for half the building with up to $40 million in public money, but the city has since backed off that figure, saying the cost has not been determined. -Blake Apgar, LVRJ
The proposal is expected to be brought to the city council officially on May 19th according to the RJ.
Normally concerns voiced by the people end up holding little weight when it comes to the construction of arenas and the decisions to publicly finance them. However, the current state of the world is likely to at least throw a bit of a wrench into the works for the Golden Knights and their AHL plans.
What seemed like a slam dunk a few months ago may not look so clear when the question of spending $40 million on an arena comes up in a little over a month’s time.
Concerns of traffic, parking, and infrastructure, while probably all fair and valid now, will likely be answered as more plans are unveiled, but the financial aspect of the project will remain uncertain, to say the least.
Speaking at the Henderson “State of the City” address, Kerry Bubolz confirmed the location of the new arena for the AHL team.
We’re going to be building a brand new American Hockey League arena on the Pavilion site right here in Henderson. -Kerry Bubolz
The Henderson Pavilion is located on the corner of Paseo Verde Parkway and Green Valley Parkway, across the street from Green Valley Ranch Casino.
We’re looking to build this facility, it’ll be world-class, it’ll be 6,000 seats, it’ll be the perfect size for American Hockey league play. -Bubolz
Bubolz confirmed that the team has already taken over 5,300 refundable deposits for the AHL franchise yet to be officially named.
The Creator did give a slight hint to the name though.
Our AHL team name will include the name of this town, Henderson. -The Creator
The Golden Knights announced yesterday the new AHL will play its home games at Orleans Arena for the 2020-21 season. Our sources indicate that the plan is for the team to play there for two or three seasons while the new arena is being built.
The team name is expected to be Henderson Silver Knights, but it has not been finalized at this time.
The Golden Knights have purchased the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL and pending the expected approval from the AHL’s Board of Governor’s, they will be relocated to Las Vegas/Henderson for the 2020-21 season.
The AHL team is expected to be named the Henderson Silver Knights and they will practice at Lifeguard Arena in Henderson, the new public rink being built on Water Street.
By every relevant metric, the growth of the game here the last few years at all levels has been remarkable. We could not be more proud to bring a second professional hockey club to the Valley to accelerate this growth even further. -The Creator
The Golden Knights will end their affiliation with the Chicago Wolves at the conclusion of this season and will bring all players under Golden Knights contract with them to the new affiliate in Las Vegas/Henderson.
This move will effectively centralize our hockey operations and streamline our processes in terms of player development, scouting, transfers and staffing. -George McPhee
The Golden Knights are currently accepting refundable season ticket deposits of $50 for the AHL franchise. They can be purchased at this link with current season ticket holders receiving priority access in the seat selection process.
**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s returns to SinBin.vegas for the 2019-20 season. His weekly column publishes every Sunday during the Golden Knights season and is brought to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm.**
Before the NHL accepted Bill Foley’s $500 million and let him join their exclusive club, I floated the idea to him about the possibility of putting his American Hockey League affiliate in Las Vegas.
After all, the perfect venue was right down the street from T-Mobile Arena in the Orleans Arena. It sat around 7,000 for hockey. It had free parking. The concessions were fairly priced. He probably could cut a decent deal with Boyd Gaming on the lease.
Best of all, he could get players to transfer back and forth from the parent club without having to get on a plane to do so.
Foley didn’t think it would work. He thought the franchise would be better served having its farm team in another location.
Of course, no one back in 2016 had any idea what was going to happen a year and a half later. The Golden Knights took the league and the city by storm and had unprecedented success on and off the ice. Suddenly, there were people on waiting lists to purchase season tickets. And even as the team jacked up the price of season tickets, most of the subscribers have stayed loyal.
So now there was a glut of hockey fans who go gaga over the Golden Knights but can’t get into T-Mobile Arena. It is indeed a fortress, accessible only by financial largesse to a privileged few.
What to do?
Bring another team to town. Play at the Orleans for a couple seasons until your rink in Henderson is built for the AHL team. Use the guys you already have under contract with the Chicago Wolves. Hell, the fans already know who all those guys are. It’ll be an easy transition. They could play in a division with Ontario, Bakersfield, Stockton, Tucson, San Diego, Palm Springs (when Seattle launches in a couple of years) and yes, San Jose.
Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it?
Sure does, especially If you’re Kerry Buboltz, the team’s president who continues to come up with creative ways to separate you from your money so they can pay Mark Stone $9.5 million annually for the better part of this decade.
Would this AHL in Las Vegas/Henderson idea work? My thinking to Foley was it would be an affordable alternative for those who couldn’t go to an NHL game, like the Wranglers were while cultivating more fans for the Vegas NHL team.
Yes, I knew it would cost more to go to an AHL game instead of an ECHL contest. But if you could take your family to a game at the Orleans for under $100, that would help make it work.
Where it really works is from a hockey standpoint. A defenseman goes down, an AHL callup could drive 10 minutes from the Orleans to T-Mobile. The AHL guys can live in Summerlin and practice at City National Arena or the team’s under-construction rink in Henderson. George McPhee could still pull his creative strings to clear salary cap space and the team would save a ton on travel costs. They can scout the organization’s players more often. They can regularly interact with the AHL team’s coaching staff. It would certainly streamline things.
However, would it work at the turnstiles? Could you turn a profit by owning your own AHL team? Currently, the Knights have a partnership with the Wolves, who are independently owned. The Wolves are staying put, though they’ll get a whole new roster of players from their next NHL affiliate once Vegas pulls its players out of Chicago.