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Tag: Daniel D’Amato

2023 Development Camp Observations

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

The Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights wrapped up their yearly summer Development Camp. Every draft pick since the 2020 Draft attended plus a host of Silver Knights, Ghost Pirates, and camp invitees.

The group was split into two teams that practiced together for the entire week and participated in two scrimmages. Here are my observations from 2023 Development Camp.

  • Jackson Hallum is very fast.
    • This is really not news as it’s been the defining feature of his game since he was selected in the 3rd round of the 2020 Draft, but boy did it show up on the ice this week. He scored three times in the scrimmages (no one else had more than one), and he was noticeable all over the ice in both games. His hands and mind definitely appear to be catching up to his feet. Certainly an exiting prospect moving forward.
  • Isaiah Saville is on another level compared to the other goalies.
    • This is certainly not to say any of the goalies were bad (they definitely weren’t) but there’s a certain calmness in the net and playing the puck with his stick that Saville possesses the others simply don’t at this time. Saville should get plenty of starts in the AHL this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if he pushes Jiri Patera for the starting role.
  • Brendan Brisson has improved as a passer and playmaker.
    • There wasn’t a single power play for his team in the two games in which he played so we didn’t get to see his most dangerous weapon, but Brisson made an impact with his precise passing. Coming off watching a playoff run that ended in the Stanley Cup, accurate passing is something I’ve kind of taken for granted, but then watching prospects play you see the importance of it. ¬†Brisson was excellent setting up his teammates multiple times for good looks. Can’t say I’m fully convinced he’s ready to take an NHL spot away from a guy like Paul Cotter or Pavel Dorofeyev, but this is the closest I’ve ever felt.
  • Daniil Chayka is a rock.
    • After four periods of not really noticing him I decided to really focus on his game in the final two periods, and I was impressed. He broke up a number of plays in the neutral zone, was excellent on and off the puck in the D-zone, and activated multiple times offensively but wasn’t found by teammates. I’ve always believed he has a good shot at being an NHLer, I’m pretty convinced of it now.
  • Two roster invitees impressed me, one in each game. Scrimmage 1 it was Robbie Fromm-DeLorme and scrimmage 2 it was Jayden Lee.
    • Fromm-DeLorme is a WHL player who went undrafted and is known as an energy type guy. He looked like much more than that in the first scrimmage as he was consistently driving the play for his team. Passing, forechecking, hustle, IQ, hands, I liked all of it from him. Unfortunately, he got hurt in the second game and missed a chunk of it.
    • Jayden Lee, a four year defenseman at Quinnipiac, was uber confident on the puck. He dusted multiple guys at the blue line and even poked in a rebound goal in the first game. Despite scoring in Scrimmage 1, he was better in the second one. It’s hard to describe beyond, he just looked like he’s better at this sport than pretty much everyone else.
  • Daniel D’Amato is close.
    • The Henderson Silver Knight who has been around multiple camps with the Golden Knights continues to stand out every time he’s on the ice. There’s still a bit of skill lacking in his game which is why I wouldn’t project him to be ready to break through to the NHL any time soon, but this kid can really play. He’s noticeable in all three zones and has a very strong stick. I expect him to have a good year in Henderson and potentially start to take steps towards moving upward.
  • Mathieu Cataford was the most impressive 2023 Draft pick
    • He just seems to have a nose for the puck and for the goal. His skating looked good especially through the neutral zone and he was typically in the right place for rebounds. I’m always extremely careful to judge the guys that were picked last week in their first Development Camp, but I’ve definitely got my eyes on him moving forward.

Observations On Every Player Who Put On A VGK Sweater At The Rookie Faceoff – Forwards

Golden Knights rookies spent the weekend in Phoenix competing in three games against fellow rookie squads from the Coyotes, Sharks, and Kings. A total of 25 players suited up for Vegas, here’s are my observations on every single one of them.

Peyton Krebs (2 games, 1C, 1C)

Literally 15 seconds into Game 1, Krebs made the best move of the weekend by any Golden Knight, carrying the puck over the blue line, stopping on a dime, and stickhandling through a defender’s legs to set up a Grade A scoring chance. His compete level is always on display and it really kicked up in the third game when it was clear he took a leadership role both on and off the ice. He came away from the two games without much to show for on the scoresheet but his impact was obvious.

(Photo Credit: Robert Schneidmiller, IceTimeHockeySW.com)

Pavel Dorofeyev (3 games, 1LW, 1LW, 1LW)

The first thing you’ll always notice about Pavel’s game was once again on full display, and that’s his ability to hold the puck and create space for himself and his teammates. He had a few really dangerous scoring chances but wasn’t able to slot one home. He and Marushev looked good together, but there’s no doubt Dorofeyev was at his best in Game 3 playing with Krebs and Dugan.

Maxim Marushev (3 games, 1RW, 1RW, 3RW)

Marushev plays a simple but effective game. He’s reliable with the puck on his stick and he’s always in quickly on the forecheck. He hit the post on a 2-on-0 shorthanded chance and was both creating chances for others as well as collecting them himself all weekend. For a 7th round pick, there’s not much to dislike about his game.

(Photo Credit: Robert Schneidmiller, IceTimeHockeySW.com)

Mason Primeau (3 games, 2LW, 3C, 2 LW)

No one’s stock raised more in my book this weekend than Primeau’s. His skating looks very good for a player of his size and his hands were worlds better than what we saw a while back when he was in Development Camp at City National Arena. Primeau was constantly making plays all over the ice. Some helped generate scoring chances but more often we’d see plays along the wall, in the neutral zone, or exiting the offensive zone that relieved pressure for his teammates. Officially, he goes down in the books with just one assist, but there was another goal clearly created off his play in the D-zone and a bundle of chances he was in on that weren’t finished.

Zach Dean (3 games, 2C, 1C, 3C)

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Learning More About Rookie Camp Non-Roster Invites

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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.

Daniel D’Amato
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.

Jacob Gaucher
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.

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