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Tag: Brandon Kruse

Prospect Updates: Brendan Brisson, Ivan Morozov, And More

April is always an interesting time for prospects, and it’s especially interesting this year with the NHL schedule pushed back a few weeks meaning we’re still in the regular season instead of starting the playoffs as we normally would be at this time.

The NCAA schedule has remained on track which has led to a flurry of signings around the league as each player’s respective season ends. On top of that, the KHL season came to an abrupt end for many players including a top Vegas prospect in Ivan Morozov. Here’s the latest on a group of VGK prospects that have decisions coming up soon.

Brendan Brisson
1st Round Pick, 2020

Brisson’s Michigan Wolverines were eliminated from the Frozen Four on Thursday. Quickly after, Brisson’s teammates Owen Power, Nick Blankenburg, and Kent Johnson inked contracts with the NHL team that held their rights. Another teammate, Matty Beniers is expected to do the same with Seattle soon.

Brisson finished his sophomore season at Michigan this year leading the team in goals. Vegas holds his rights through August of 2024, but it appears probable that Brisson will want to leave school to sign his entry-level deal this year as opposed to playing out his junior and senior years at Michigan.

If Brisson does indeed want to turn pro, the next decision will be whether or not he and/or the Golden Knights want to burn the first year of his entry-level contract. If he signs prior to Vegas’ season ending, the first year of his three-year contract will elapse meaning he’d become an RFA in the summer of 2024. If they wait until after this season concludes, he’ll be under contract for three more seasons making him an RFA in 2025.

The clock is definitely ticking, but there’s still plenty of time for the team and player to come to the agreement that works best for both using either option. Brisson would be eligible to play for the Golden Knights immediately and in the playoffs should they make it, but both seem rather unlikely at this time.

Ivan Morozov
2nd Round Pick, 2018

Morozov was the first player selected in the 2018 Draft by the Golden Knights after they traded away their 1st round pick for Tomas Tatar at the deadline. Morozov has done nothing but impress since, playing at World Juniors, the IIHF World Championship, and multiple seasons in the KHL.

His KHL contract officially expires on April 30th, but as we’ve seen in the past with Nikita Gusev, teams can come to an agreement to terminate it early.

Morozov is currently in Las Vegas and was seen at the Henderson Silver Knights game last week chatting with VGK Director of Player Development, Wil Nichol.

He is in a similar situation with his contract as the team could choose to burn a season or simply wait until the offseason and have him locked up through 2024-25.

Brandon Kruse
5th Round Pick, 2018

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Kruse played five seasons in college including four years at Bowling Green before transferring for his graduate year to Boston College. When his season ended he quickly signed an AHL player tryout contract (PTO) with the Silver Knights. Kruse played in three games registering one point before he was released from this contract.

The Golden Knights continue to hold Kruse’s NHL rights until August 15th of this year, but it appears clear that his time with the Golden Knights organization has come to an end.

Nick Campoli
6th Round Pick, 2017

Campoli played out his college eligibility at Clarkson University. The Golden Knights hold his rights until August 15th before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Campoli has not been offered a contract with either Vegas or Henderson which indicates Vegas will likely allow his rights to expire.

Golden Knights Prospects Highlighted in Sports Illustrated Top 100 Collegiate Players

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Hockey is officially underway. It might not be the Golden Knights but the NCAA is doing their job to help fill the void until the big boys return to play.

In celebration of the start of the 2020-21 college hockey season, Sports Illustrated profiled the top 100 NCAA players to watch. The Golden Knights were represented by five of their own prospects in SI’s list.

At #24 was Vegas’ newest 1st round prospect Brendan Brisson (Michigan), 2018 draft pick Brandon Kruse (Bowling Green) was listed at #25, and another 2018 pick Peter Diliberatore (Quinnipiac) ranked #31. Defensive prospect Layton Ahac (Ohio State) came in at #43, and lastly, goaltender Isiah Saville (Nebraska-Omaha) was slotted in at #54 by Sports Illustrated.

For some of the Golden Knights prospects, this is a big NCAA season. Junior Peter Diliberatore has his eyes on capturing Quinnipiac‘s second school title, while Layton Ahac and Brendan Brisson chase a Frozen Four title for their Big Ten schools. All three universities are ranked in the nation’s top 15 teams.

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Golden Knights Organization Offer World Class Training to Prospects

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One heavy point of emphasis for Golden Knights prospects at Development Camp was the importance of their strength and conditioning regimens.

Cody Glass spoke with us about his strict diet that was designed by the Golden Knights organization. At first, he had trouble eating his nutritional menu but soon realized it was for his own good.

It’s always been a struggle for me to put on weight. Gary Roberts has been helping me along the way. I went to him last year and he’s just given me tips on how to be a better player and a better professional. It all starts with eating healthy. It sucks at first but when you get used to it, it’s a lot better and it’ll help down the road. -Cody Glass

The Gary Roberts he’s talking about is a former NHL player turned into a well-known strength and conditioning guru. He’s helped proven NHL’ers like Connor McDavid and Mark Schiefele get faster and stronger. Over the past few years, the Golden Knights have tapped Roberts’ resources to help develop their pipeline.

Focusing on working on developing my legs. Adding muscle mass while maintaining my speed. I do a lot of cardio and muscle mass type workouts. I’m always talking to Wil Nichol and Gary Roberts about stuff that can help my game. They’ll talk to me throughout the year and give their input on what I should add to my workouts and regiment to help get to that next level. -Brandon Kruse

Jack Dugan will begin his sophomore year at Providence College this fall, but both GM Kelly McCrimmon and assistant coach Mike Kelly agreed he looked like a grown man, not a college student. That’s because Dugan has followed the guidance of the Golden Knights training staff since his draft date.

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Golden Knights Quick Hitters

We promise something new on every day of the year (except Sundays) no matter whether the team is on the ice or it’s the middle of summer. Normally we pick one topic and throw everything we can possibly jam into one article at you and call it a day, but today we’re going to change it up a bit. Nothing really warranted a full story, so instead, we present you with “quick hitters.”

 Single Game Tickets On Sale Today

If you are following @GoldenKnights on Twitter, you’re probably already aware of this as they’ve found about 47 different creative ways to remind you, but if not, single game VGK seats go on sale at noon today.

Here’s the link to get tickets.

McPhee Stays Unbiased During Draft

With the 135th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Golden Knights selected Brandon Kruse from Bowling Green State University. BGSU just so happens to be GM George McPhee’s alma mater, however, in an interview with, he says that had no impact on his decision to draft Kruse.

It’s a coincidence. I leave our drafting up to our scouts. I’m happy that they drafted him because he’s a terrific player, and I’m glad that they weren’t influenced by me; there’s no bias involved, they took the best player available, who happened to play at Bowling Green. I’m excited that it provides another reason to get to Bowling Green this year and watch them play. -McPhee

100 Point Projection

The creator of released a projection for every team and had the Golden Knights once again eclipsing the century mark.

This model is widely regarded as one of the most accurate out there. Unlike most who had the Golden Knights in the 60’s or 70’s last season, Perry projected Vegas at 82, one of the highest we found. Hopefully, he’s 25 points short again. 

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Five Golden Knights Prospects Headed To World Junior Summer Showcase

Glass and Suzuki should shine at the Summer Showcase. Hopefully on the same line. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every year, in advance of the IIHF World Junior tournament that takes place in December, four teams get together for the World Junior Summer Showcase. Last year it took place in Plymouth, Michigan where Erik Brannstrom starred for Team Sweden. This year the Summer Showcase is headed to Kamloops, British Columbia and the Golden Knights are well represented.

The World Junior Summer Showcase begins with practices on July 28th and games get underway on July 30th.

Paul Cotter was a standout at VGK Development Camp. We’ll see if he does the same at the Summer Showcase. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The American players, Kruse and Cotter, are both on Team USA’s Team Blue. Team Canada is split into two teams as well, but their split roster has yet to be released.

Team USA’s Team Blue plays the first game against Elvenes and Team Sweden at 4:00 PM on the 30th.

Notably absent are Erik Brannstrom for Team Sweden and Nic Hague for Team Canada. Both are expected to have a shot at making the NHL or AHL roster this season.

NHL Network is airing six games starting with the USA vs. Sweden game on August 2nd. Here’s the full NHL Network schedule.

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