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Tag: Daniil Chayka

Stock Up: 2023 Rookie Faceoff

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas 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.

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Like 2019-20, VGK Enter Season With Rookie Defensemen Waiting To Make The Jump To NHL

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

When the Golden Knights’ group of six defensemen were healthy and in the lineup together last season, the team was almost unbeatable. Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb, Zach Whitecloud, and Nic Hague are all set to return for 2023-24 and expectations remain incredibly high for what the group can do when they are all on the ice.

It seems unfathomable at the moment, and if there were a game tomorrow not a coach in the world would choose any other lineup, but, if the Golden Knights are going to repeat as champions, there’s a strong chance one of the six has been unseated by June 2024.

That’s because of the collection of younger blueliners just about ready to push through to the NHL level waiting in VGK’s system.

Former 2nd round pick Kaedan Korczak and 3rd round pick Lukas Cormier are the highest touted prospects, but Daniil Miromanov, Brayden Pachal, and Daniil Chayka all look like they have the skills to help an NHL team team.

Right now, none of these guys are ready to take a job away from one of the reigning champion incumbents. At some point though, the Golden Knights are going to have to make room for them, and that point could come much sooner than later.

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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.

10 Questions I’m Interested To Have Answered At Development Camp Scrimmages

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

For the first time since 2019, the Golden Knights are holding a Development Camp at City National Arena. The pandemic wiped out two years of Dev Camp and it’s left us with a lot of prospects who have either never been in a sweater with a Vegas logo on it or have done it sparingly.

With that, there’s a lot to keep an eye on during the scrimmages at the end of the week. Here’s what I’m looking for.

1) Will Brendan Brisson look like the clear #1 prospect in the VGK system?

Brisson has impressed at every level including his most recent short stint in the AHL. However, I’ve still been left with some questions, most notably his ability to hold the puck in the offensive zone and his overall defensive game. As one of just two 1st round picks, and playing as an older player, Brisson needs to clearly stand out as one of the best players in these scrimmages.

2) Can Lukas Cormier’s offensive game translate against better competition?

Numbers, numbers, and more numbers. That’s all we’ve seen from Cormier in the QMJHL. But, due to the lack of camps the last two years we’ve only seen hin in Vegas for the Rookie Faceoff in Arizona and then a few preseason games. He wasn’t particularly good in either and it seemed like his deficiencies defensively overshadowed his offensive game. It would be great to see that half-goal-per-game player show up with a VGK uni on.

3) Is Kaedan Korczak ready?

If you take one peek at Korczak’s frame, you’ll know he’s more than ready to play in the NHL physically. He was steady through the AHL season and looked competent in his single NHL appearance. Back in September in the Rookie Faceoff, there was a lack of urgency to his game that concerned me. It seemed to dissipate as I watched him a few times for Henderson. I’m hoping to not see it again.

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Observations On Every Player Who Put On A VGK Sweater At The Rookie Faceoff – Defensemen & Goalies

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.

Defensemen

(Photo Credit: Robert Schneidmiller, IceTimeHockeySW.com)

Daniil Chayka (3 games, 1LD, 1 LD, 1LD)

Chayka was steady but never really seemed to get his footing adding any offense. In his own end, he was able to use his strong frame to push guys off the puck as well as protect it when he had it. The decision-making could probably have been a bit quicker, though it got better as the weekend wore on. For a first impression, there was a lot more good than bad.

Kaedan Korczak (2 games, 1RD, 1 RD)

As expected, Korczak looked like he was on another level compared to almost everyone else on the ice. He was calm on the puck, quick in retrieval, and always made the right decisions. There’s probably never going to be much offense in his game, but his willingness to push the puck up the ice will certainly generate chances for his teammates in the future.

Artur Cholach (3 games, 2LD, 2LD, 3 LD)

The first game he looked a step behind pretty much everyone rushing at him, but as the games continued he was able to gain his footing and improved. The concern about his ability to get to pucks and get them off his stick quickly enough to succeed at this level remains though. Overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend for him, but it was far from great.

Lukas Cormier (2 games, 2RD, 2RD)

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2021 Golden Knights Draft Picks: Who Are These Guys?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After selecting Zach Dean with the 30th overall pick in the 1st round, the Golden Knights entered Day 2 with five picks. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know about each player selected by the Golden Knights in the 2021 NHL Draft.

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