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Tag: Rookie Camp

A New Era Begins This Week

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This week begins the unofficial start to the 2021-22 NHL season. Fresh Golden Knights prospects will hit the ice for Wednesday’s Rookie Camp and try to impress the men that drafted them and the coach that may lead them in the future. Sure, it won’t be the names you’ll see in Pete DeBoer’s regular season lineup but it’s hockey nevertheless and a reminder to fans that their favorite local team is only weeks from competing for another chance at the Stanley Cup.

Although it’s only Vegas’ fifth rookie training camp we can all agree that this is a new era for Golden Knights hockey. Who would’ve thought we’d be saying that but it’s true. Just one player off the roster changed the face and direction of the 31st franchise. Fans are still upset after the club traded Marc-Andre Fleury back in July and some (most) will never get over it. However, Vegas has a reasonable fanbase that will gladly trade in some painful news for an oversized, shiny silver chalice. That chase, in essence, starts on Wednesday.

VGK Important Dates:

Wednesday, September 15: Rookie Camp opens

Thursday, September 16: First day of rookie on-ice practice

Friday, Sept. 17: Rookie Faceoff- Vegas at Arizona, 7:30 PM

Sunday, Sept. 19: Vegas at San Jose, 2:00 PM

Monday, Sept. 20: Los Angeles at Vegas, 11:00 AM

Wednesday, September 22: Main Camp opens

Thursday, September 23: First day of on-ice practice

As you can see the schedule is fairly fluid starting Wednesday, leading up until Vegas’ first preseason game against San Jose. Beginning this week, loose diets, offseason bad habits, and summer mentalities will have to change in order to properly prepare for Game 1 of the preseason. After all, the regular season will come quick and the Golden Knights are eyeing another fast start in October.

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Meet The Man In Red

If you head out to Rookie Training Camp over the next week, you’ll notice one player skating around wearing a red jersey. No, he’s not a moving target for the players, in fact, just the opposite.

His name is Jake Leschyshyn and he tore his ACL 218 days ago while playing in a WHL game for the Regina Pats. Seven months later, the son of former NHLer Curtis is skating in Rookie Camp with the Golden Knights at City National Arena.

That red jersey indicates he’s not been cleared for contact, but according to Leschyshyn it’s just a safety precaution as he’s nearly 100% recovered from the severest of knee injuries.

I’m trying to get the power back in the first couple steps; that’s the biggest thing. Other than that I’m feeling really confident. I just have to take it one day at a time. –Jake Leschyshyn

Prior to the injury Leschyshyn was well on his way to being a first round draft pick at the 2017 Entry Draft. He ended up slipping to the last pick of the second round, where the Golden Knights used their 5th pick in the draft on the injury-risk 18-year-old.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Andreasen

But now, having seen him on the ice with the rest of the draft picks, skating, cutting, and looking like his old self, George McPhee and the Golden Knights may have selected yet another 1st rounder… in the back end of the 2nd. Add Leschyshyn to the three first round picks, and Nic Hague who many believed was a 1st rounder himself, and Vegas may have left Chicago with 5 bona fide first round talents.

Leschyshyn won’t play in the rookie games in El Segundo, but he is expected to be on the ice throughout rookie camp in his red jersey, and should be ready to go to start the 2017-18 season for the Regina Pats.

As much as we want to focus on Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Nic Hague, the most intriguing prospect at camp might just be Jake Leschyshyn, and lucky for everyone in attendance, he’ll be easy to spot.

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