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Tag: Development Camp

VGK Three Year Olds Are Developing Into Men

When Cody Glass was drafted in 2017, he stood 6’1″, weighing in at 175lbs. Two years later, Glass is filling in nicely.

Yeah I think I’m 190lbs now, and I’m 6’2 and a half. I’m not close to my brother or my dad, but it’s nice to see some improvement on my weight and height. -Glass

Since becoming a Golden Knights prospect he was told to add weight and muscle while developing in WHL and the AHL.

It’s always been a struggle for me to put on weight… the team has been helping me along the way. They gave me tips on how to be a better player and a better professional. It all starts with eating the healthy. It sucks at first but when you get used to it, it’s a lot better and it’ll help down the road. -Glass

Same goes for prospect Jack Dugan, who was sizably different from his first Golden Knights development camp.

Jack, to me, looks like a man now. That’s a guy who’s improving leaps and bounds.”-Kelly McCrimmon

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Both director of player development Wil Nichol and assistant coach Mike Kelly echoed those same thoughts, almost word for word.

Dugan, a sophomore at Providence College, knew he had the talent when Vegas selected him in 2017, but he knew he needed to get stronger. So he began training more off the ice and in the gym.

When I was drafted I had never been in a weight room before. This past two years that’s been the main focus, more so off the ice. I think my on-ice ability got me drafted. Put the two together and I think I have a pretty good chance. -Dugan

Incoming General Manager Kelly McCrimmon spoke at length about the growth and strength development of players attending their third camp. It’s the one thing that’s most noticeable year-to-year.

Seeing players come back year to year to year, it gives an appreciation for how development actually works. And for the time it takes for guys to get there… Specifically with Cody, he’s a good example. When you look at the difference in Cody from year one, to year two, to year three you see a player that’s bigger, stronger, faster, more confidence. -McCrimmon

It breaks down to commitment and discipline. Unfortunately, pizza and fried chicken aren’t in that equation.

No, stay away from it. Unless it’s the end of the season. -Glass

For the record, the crew ate pizza literally an hour before we spoke to Glass. We’ve yet to find the link between terrible eating habits and poor blogging.

Who We’re Watching At Development Camp (2019)

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the first time since the nightmare at SAP Center, there will be Golden Knights on the ice this week at City National Arena. 2019 Development Camp gets underway tomorrow with practices for the early half of the week and then scrimmages on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

43 players have been invited to this year’s camp including 22 Golden Knights draft picks. Here’s a quick rundown of the roster.

  • Draft Picks by Year
    • 2019 – Kaedan Korczak, Pavel Dorofeyev, Layton Ahac, Ryder Donovan, Isaiah Saville, Marcus Kallionkieli, Mason Primeau (Not Attending: Peyton Krebs)
    • 2018 – Slava Demin, Brandon Kruse, Connor Corcoran, Peter Diliberatore, Xavier Bouchard, Jordan Kooy (Not Attending: Ivan Morozov, Paul Cotter)
    • 2017 – Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Lucas Elvenes, Jack Dugan, Nick Campoli, Jiri Patera, Ben Jones
  • Players Under VGK Control
    • Dylan Coghlan, Dylan Ferguson
  • Undrafted Players NOT Under VGK Control
    • 17 – Garrett Pinoniemi
    • 18 – Cole MacKay, Cullen McLean, Zak Smith, Mason Lohrei, Kirby Proctor, Zach Uens, Mike Vorlicky
    • 19 – Wyatt Bongiovanni, Taro Jentzsch, Brayden Pachal
    • 20 – Mick Messner, Charles-Antoine Roy, Bray Crowder, Tim Theocharidis
    • 21 – Mitchell Chaffee, Jermaine Loewen, Keenan Suthers, Gustaf Westlund
  • Times attending VGK Camp
    • Third Appearance – Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Lucas Elvenes, Jack Dugan, Nick Campoli, Jiri Patera, Ben Jones, Dylan Cohglan, Dylan Ferguson
    • Second Appearance – Brandon Kruse, Connor Corcoran, Peter Diliberatore, Xavier Bouchard, Jordan Kooy
    • First Appearance – Slava Demin, Kaedan Korczak, Pavel Dorofeyev, Layton Ahac, Ryder Donovan, Isaiah Saville, Marcus Kallionkieli, Mason Primeau, Garrett Pinoniemi, Cole MacKay, Cullen McLean, Zak Smith, Mason Lohrei, Kirby Proctor, Zach Uens, Mike Vorlicky, Wyatt Bongiovanni, Taro Jentzsch, Brayden Pachal, Mick Messner, Charles-Antoine Roy, Bray Crowder, Tim Theocharidis, Mitchell Chaffee, Jermaine Loewen, Keenan Suthers, Gustaf Westlund

What To Watch

  • 2019 Draft Picks

Since Peyton Krebs will not be skating, I’ll have my eyes first and foremost on Pavel Dorofeyev. He’s the most offensive-minded of all of the 2019 Draft picks with an impressive ability to hold the puck in the offensive zone. He has an excellent shot with what’s been described as a creative release.

The battle between Korczak and Ahac should be fun to watch as well. They are similar prospects, but Korczak was the one VGK seemed to value more, trading up to get him. But, since both are defense first type defensemen, I’d be surprised if they stand out too much on the ice in drills or scrimmages.

Finally, there’s Donovan and Kallionkieli. Both natural goal scorers with excellent skating and speed, it will be interesting to see how they look against the 2017 and 2018 picks. Can they keep up? Are they there physically? Will they be able to score?

  • Slava Demin

Demin missed last year’s camp after being a 4th round pick in 2018. He had a solid freshman year at the University of Denver and it will literally be the first time I’ve seen him play in person. His skating is what excites me the most, would love to see it show up in a big way in camp.

  • NHL Ready

In 2017 both Glass and Hauge looked like just regular guys among the bunch. In 2018, Glass started to stand out a bit more with his creativity but still didn’t seem to really drive offense. Hague still looked a little shaky skating, but his offensive game was dominant and he wowed with his toe-drag goals in scrimmages. This year, it’s time for those two to stand out so far beyond everyone else that it almost seems embarrassing they are even at this camp. When Alex Tuch skated with the Golden Knights prospects in 2017, he looked like a dominant force every time he stepped on the ice, that needs to be Glass and Hague, otherwise, I’m going to start doubting they are truly ready to make the big roster.

  • Potential Contracts

Last year all of the hoopla was about Jimmy Schuldt, and we all know how that ended up turning out. This year, there’s no Jimmy Schuldt, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few players who are going to deserve a closer look for a contract.

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2018 Development Camp – Photo Gallery

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2018 Development Camp Takeaways

Brannstrom remains the most exciting prospect in the VGK pipeline, but there’s a ton to look forward to both on and off the roster. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

2018 Golden Knights Development Camp is now over and there is plenty to talk about. From the progression of the 2017 rookie class to Zach Whitecloud’s shot at the NHL roster to the recruitment of Jimmy Schuldt, Development Camp leaves us with many questions, but plenty of hints to the answers.

  • The progression of the 2017 Draft picks was noticeable
    • Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki both looked more comfortable in camp. Like last season, Glass’ finishing ability and Suzuki’s hands jumped off the page.
    • Nic Hague continues to look like a monster on the ice and his stick is Brayden McNabb like. Still feels like the skating needs a bit of improvement, but his offensive ability is really exciting. Plus, the “Nic Hague toe drag” is real. He pulled it off multiple times in the scrimmages to get from the point to the slot, or the circle to directly in front of the goal. It rhymes too, which is awesome.
    • Erik Brannstrom remains the dynamic superstar in the making we remember. His confidence on the ice is infectious. When he has the puck, there’s almost an aura that makes everyone watching (including the other players on the ice) believe something special is about to happen. It doesn’t always happen, but every once in a while it does, and in those moments it really happens. It reminds me of a home run hitter in baseball, where every time he steps to the plate, even though he only gets a hit about 30% of the time, you feel like this is going to be the one. It’s electrifying. The problem is, like the home run hitter, 70% of the time it doesn’t happen, and for a defenseman in the NHL, that’s way too much. He’s 18-years-old though. He’s not ready for the NHL yet, as much as that pains me to say.
    • Jack Dugan and Jonas Rondbjerg were the standouts among the other draft picks from the 2017 Draft. After about the 8th time saying “oh, nice play Rondbjerg” or “wow, look at Dugan” I realized their good moments weren’t flashes. It’s certainly exciting to see a few non-first round picks separate themselves from the pack a bit.

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What To Watch For At Development Camp

For fans that plan to go down to the LV Ice Center this week, here’s what we’re watching for at Development Camp.

The first Golden Knight
It’s pretty clear Reid Duke is a fan favorite already. After a week of signing autographs and snapping fan selfies, the first Golden Knight will take the ice. This week, look for Duke’s all-around skill that got the attention of the Vegas scouts. It could be beneficial for fans to compare the skill of Duke with like Alex Tuch, Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki.

Alex “The Great” Tuch
Minnesota didn’t enjoy giving up Alex Tuch. And why would they? The Wild invested a first-round pick on him and waited while he developed in the NCAA. The New York native has the size and skill to be an effective NHL power-forward. Hockey Future’s highlights Tuch’s stick-handling, shot, speed and hockey IQ. McPhee passed on a known commodity, hopefully, doubtful fans will get to see why this week.

Three in the top 15
I’m most excited to see the first-round talents drafted by Vegas, Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Erik Brannstrom. All three are highly-regarded so their skill should be obvious to an idiot scout like myself. They’re young, incredibly talented but underdeveloped. It’ll be fun to watch them mature over the next few years.

It should be the first chance we have to take a look Gerard Gallant’s coaching style. We aren’t sure how much it will be him taking the reigns or if he’ll let Rocky Thompson (Wolves), Phil Axtell (Mallards), or any of the other developmental coaches take control, but either way, the coaching is on display as much as the players are.

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Gallant Will Be “Sitting Back Watching” During Expansion Draft

We’ve long talked about the Expansion Draft from George McPhee’s point of view, but we finally got a chance to ask the man who will be coaching all of the players selected what his role will be during the 72 hour period from June 18th to the 21st.

I’ll be sitting back watching. I mean don’t get me wrong, they’ll ask me about some of Florida’s players and some of Montreal’s players, because I coached those players, I know them inside and out. So the guys that I know, they’ll ask me questions and I’ll fill them in. They’ll pick the players they want, which is how it should be, but I’ll give my opinion when they ask. -Gerard Gallant

George will pick the players, Gerard will coach them. That’s how it was described the day Gerard was hired, and that’s how it appears it will remain through the biggest 72 hours in Golden Knights history.

We’ve written over 300 articles specifically referencing the Expansion Draft, and the Vegas staff has to get it all done in a 72 hour period. We assumed there wouldn’t be much sleeping going on, Gerard confirmed.

I am (going to sleep during the Expansion Draft). George isn’t. Seriously it’s hectic for those guys right now, but you know what, if it’s hectic that’s really good for our franchise. It means the other teams are constantly calling, that’s real good. -Gallant

Gallant’s job starts soon though. Development Camp starts up on June 26th with the first practice on the 27th at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Gallant says there will be 44 players suited up. These will include the draft picks, free agents like Reid Duke and Tomas Hyka, and a host of players on try-out contracts.

**Practices and scrimmages are open to the public, but it’s first come first serve and the Ice Center does not have a tone of space, so plan accordingly.**

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