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Tag: Tomas Hyka

Leipsic Hurt, Roster Spot In Jeopardy?

Get healthy man, your roster spot relies on it. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When you look at the back end of the roster for the Golden Knights there is a group of about seven forwards all vying for a one, possibly two, spots. Of the players in the running to leave camp with that 12th or 13th forward spot, one of them has been absent recently.

That man is Brendan Leipsic, the diminutive forward the Golden Knights selected from the Maple Leafs in the Expansion Draft. He was not skating during the most recent session of practice at City National Arena due to an injury that dates back to Thursday.

He had a minor injury last game in the warm up. He’s going to be five or seven days, no more than that. So it’s nothing major. -Gerard Gallant

That kept Leipsic out of the third preseason game in San Jose, and he was also not in the lineup for the game in Colorado. The injury will certainly keep him out of today’s game in Anaheim, and very well could see him miss Tuesday and Thursday’s preseason games at T-Mobile Arena.

Gallant has made it clear that he wants his roster to be nearly fully formed by the final two preseason games, and with Leipsic not having a chance to perform in a game, his spot on the roster is in serious jeopardy, no matter than his coach is saying in press conferences.

We never cut guys because of injuries. It’s nothing serious, so he’ll do some off-ice stuff the next few days and then he’ll get back on the ice. It won’t eliminate his chances for sure. -Gallant

However, the play of Tomas Hyka and Tyler Wong should have Geroge McPhee and Gallant thinking. All three of forwards play a similar style of game based on speed and scoring. It’s unlikely the Golden Knights will be willing to keep more than one player like these three, so Leipsic’s absence isn’t easily overlooked.

See ya in 5 to 7 days my friend. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Wong scored a hat trick in the preseason opener and Hyka has scored in every game in which he’s dressed for the Golden Knights (including a pair of rookie games in El Segundo).

Coach may not cut players because of injuries, but he’s also probably not in the business of taking jobs from guys playing well in favor of ones who haven’t been able to get on the ice. We have no idea where each player stands, but if it’s close, which we believe it probably is, Leipsic needs to get back out there by Thursday, and needs to perform when he does.

Projecting The Opening Day 23-Man Golden Knights Roster

I remember it like yesterday, writing articles about meetings The Creator was having with the league making presentations in conjunction with Quebecor trying to sell the idea of expanding the league. Now, I’m about to take a shot at picking the 23 players who are going to make the roster when the Vegas Golden Knights play the first regular season game in franchise history. Crazy.

Enough about me, let’s cut some guys!

Forwards (13)

Vadim Shipachyov, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, David Perron, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, Oscar Lindberg, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Karlsson, Teemu Pulkkinen, Alex Tuch, William Carrier, Tomas Hyka

Due to the fact that the Golden Knights are expected to keep eight defensemen, there are some tough decisions on the back end of this list. The first nine are pretty well set in stone, the final four will be selected from a pool of seven.

The first who makes the list is Pulkkinen, and that has a lot to do with this skill set. His shooting ability is borderline elite in the NHL and he’s never really had a lot of time to prove himself in the league. However, the reasoning for his inclusion is more in the fact that he sticks out as a different style of player than the rest of the group. There are fast guys, there are big guys, but there’s no one else quite like him.

Next is Tuch. This one has a lot to do with the way he’s been playing on the ice, but it has even more to do with the fact that he’s one of the very few Golden Knights George McPhee paid to bring in. McPhee gave up a 3rd round pick to get Tuch from the Wild and he’s done everything in his power (including attending Development Camp) to make the roster. Wouldn’t be completely stunning if he’s sent to Chicago, but it would be a bit of a surprise.

Congrats Will Carrier, you made the team! Well, SinBin’s idea of the team. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

That brings us to the final two spots. I selected Hyka and Carrier out of the group including Brendan Leipsic, Tomas Nosek, and Tyler Wong. Hyka has been playing great hockey both in game action as well as in practice. It seems like every time the puck is near him he’s making things happen. That was also the case for Wong in the preseason game, and in rookie camp, but hasn’t been quite as apparent since the veterans showed up. Leipsic is an incredibly similar player to both Hyka and Wong, but simply hasn’t flashed throughout camp or in the one preseason game in which he played. For smaller speedy players, they should stick out like a sore thumb on the ice, skating by people and scoring goals. One of these three did that better than the other two. Hyka has also never played an NHL game, which represents massive upside for a guy who’s had this much success in camp and was singled out by the Golden Knights prior to the Expansion Draft. It’s a risky move considering McPhee would have to hope Leipsic can sneak through waivers without losing him, but Hyka deserves the spot more than Leipsic at this point, so it’s worth the risk.

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Tomas Hyka Has Something To Prove In El Segundo

As is normal with rookie games, there’s a  familiarity with many Golden Knights rookies with the Kings roster they’ll be going up against these next two days in El Segundo. Cody Glass will play against the captain of his junior team in Portland, Keegan Iverson. Nic Hague will play against defensive teammate Jacob Moverare and Nick Suzuki will face three of his Owen Sound Attack teammates in Jacob Friend, Markus Phillips and Matt Schmalz.

But only one Golden Knight has ever actually been a Los Angeles King, and that’s Tomas Hyka.

Tomas Hyka skating at rookie camp at City National Arena (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Hyka was signed by the Golden Knights nearly a month before the Expansion Draft and has been skating with the Vegas rookies despite being 24-years-old, normally a little old for rookie camp. Hyka’s still never played an official NHL game, but he’s not new to the NHL process.

In 2011, Hyka went to camp with the Philadephia Flyers after going undrafted. He impressed many in the Flyer organization even drawing comparisons to Claude Giroux. Hyka then went on to score a goal in a preseason game for Philadephia, but when it came time to sign the contract, due to a rule in the CBA, he wasn’t allowed to sign with the Flyers.

Honestly, I still don’t really know what happened there. It kind of was bad for me at the time, but I’m so happy the way it worked out now because I’m now with a new team and a new organization and I’ve got a more opportunity here to show off my skills here. -Tomas Hyka

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Golden Knights Sign F Tomas Hyka

The Golden Knights appear to have their third player. The newest addition according to a report from iSport is forward Tomas Hyka.

Photo courtesy: Vegas Golden Knights

Photo courtesy: Vegas Golden Knights

Hyka is a 5’11” 168 pound forward who has been playing in the Czech Extraliga with BK Mlada Boleslav. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 6th round (171 overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hyka is a right winger who is described as having top notch speed and excellent hands, but is limited by his rather small stature.

The contract was reported as a one-year entry level deal. He was a free agent after the contract he signed with the Kings ran out in June 2014.

Hyka scored 17 goals and tallied 38 points in 48 games this season in the Czech Republic. He also played for the Czech team at the World Cup, as well as the Euro Hockey Tour. At the World Cup, he did not score in four games.

In 2011, Hyka was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers. Then GM Paul Holmgren apparently wanted to sign the Hyka, but it was not permitted per the CBA. It’s kind of a wacky story in which he was cut, then wasn’t, then was offered a contract, but wasn’t allowed to sign it. He even scored a goal in the preseason for the Flyers. Nonetheless, he headed back to his junior team the Gatineau Olympiques before being drafted the following year by Los Angeles.

A Golden Knights rep said a press release is being generated and will be sent out soon to confirm the move. Hyka’s profile page currently lists him as a member of the Golden Knights.

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