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Tag: Zach Dean

Stock Up, Stock Down: 2022 Rookie Faceoff

(Photo Credit: Rob Schneidmiller, Ice Time Southwest)

The Golden Knights rookies finished off the annual Rookie Faceoff tournament in San Jose with a record of 1-1-1, winning on Friday against Arizona. Most VGK prospects participated in two games with a few hitting the ice for all three. Goalie Jesper Vikman started the second two games while Isaiah Saville played the first and came on halfway through the third.

We’ll have a full update to the SinBin Prospect Rankings towards the end of main training camp, so for now let’s just highlight a few guys whose stock is rising and a few whose stock is falling.

Stock Up

(Photo Credit: Scott Strande, Ice Time Southwest)

Artur Cholach

Prior to this tournament in his time with the Golden Knights, the 6th round pick was most known for representing Ukraine at the most recent Draft. After this tournament, he’s should be known much more for what he does on the ice than where he’s from off it. Cholach looked like a dominant shutdown defenseman in all three games. Each of the first two games he was paired with an offensive-minded defenseman and he held down the fort as his partner ventured forward. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s positionally sound.

Ben Hemmerling

The most notable aspect of Hemmerling’s game this weekend was his motor. Quite simply, he never stops. You can find him busting his butt all over the ice trying to make the next play no matter how far away he is from the puck. There’s still a ways to go in his offensive game, but the groundwork is there. Playing against him has to be such a pain.

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Rookies Will Give First Look At Bruce Cassidy’s System This Weekend

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

New coach, new system. That will be the main focus of the Golden Knights training camp when it opens next week. It’s not just the NHL-level players that are being drilled on the ins and outs of how Bruce Cassidy likes his teams to play hockey though. The Golden Knights plan on running the system as soon as in the rookie games in San Jose this weekend.

You’re not going to see his system midseason form, just like you probably won’t see that in the first or second exhibition game, it’s going to take some time and reps. But yes we are trying to implement some of the teaching points and some of the language he uses. We’re going to try to implement it as much as we can without it being too much. -Wil Nichol, Director of Player Development

The Golden Knights rookies, including first round picks Brendan Brisson and Zach Dean, and a few other NHL hopefuls like Kaedan Korczak and Ivan Morozov will play three games this weekend at the Sharks’ brand new practice facility.

Vegas’ first game is tonight at 4:30, then they take the ice again tomorrow at 2:00 and Monday at 12:30.

There’s a new system, so we needed to go over that. Especially for the guys who will more on to the main camp, we kind of need to know the system, so there was a lot of learning today. -Zach Dean

Cassidy’s system calls for keeping pucks to the outside, limiting high danger chances, and making zone entries difficult by stacking the blue line. Also, the hybrid zone defense is a bit of a change from the high-pressure overload style the Golden Knights are used to. But, both Nichol and Dean said it’s not a radical change from what they have been doing.

In the end, it’s hockey. You have the system, but you have to read the play as well. It’s not overly different, it’s a little bit, but you still have to play hockey and read the play. -Dean

Things like pressure points, where you pressure and where you don’t are the main difference. -Nichol

Typically, rookie games are a bit frantic, so it’s likely not going to be the best indicator of exactly how the systems will look when they are operating at peak form. Nonetheless, it is the first opportunity to start seeing some of the differences and keeping an eye on how VGK’s future adapts to them.

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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Why Forward Line And D-Pair Combinations Matter In Rookie Games

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When it comes to prospects, we’re always on the hunt for information, trying to differentiate between players who have an NHL future and those who are simply along for the ride.

Rookie camp, and especially rookie games, are crucial in that sorting process as they stand as one of the rare times a large collection of Golden Knights prospects gather and compete on the same sheet of ice. Comparing Lukas Cormier’s 54-point QMJHL season to Kaedan Korczak’s five-game stint in the AHL playoffs only offers so much, but when they step on the ice together and compete against the same competition, much more can be gathered.

Most of that information comes from what we see on the ice. However, every once in a while we get some crumbs that give us a look into how the organization views these players, which will massively affect their chances of becoming future Golden Knights.

One such crumb was shared by this weekend’s coach, and Henderson Silver Knights head coach, Manny Viveiros.

Management and the scouting staff, they’ll put the lines together for us cause they’ve seen these kids over the last few years. They’ve been a big help in that part by putting who they want to see together including the d-pairs as well. So we’re going to decide who’s playing this weekend and with who and we’re going to go out there and support the kids and coach them on the bench. -Viveiros

This means every lineup we see being put out on the ice this weekend offers a look into the minds of the front office.

Pavel Dorofeyev and Maxim Marushev playing with Peyton Krebs on the top line tells us something about the two Russian standouts. While Mason Primeau playing on the wing of 2021 1st round pick Zach Dean and the more experienced Jack Dugan speaks volumes to where they feel the career of the 6’5″ 20-year-old who spent a portion of last year in the ECHL is headed.

Every player, every position, every decision is done with a purpose and there’s a reason behind every purpose.

Here’s the lineup the Golden Knights used in their first rookie game against the Coyotes, one they dropped 5-2 in a bit of a sloppy, penalty-filled affair.

Dorofeyev-Krebs-Marushev
Primeau-Dean-Dugan
Pearson*-Brabenec-McCallum*
D’Amato*-Demek-Gaucher*

Chayka-Korczak
Cholach-Cormier
Lajoie*-McCormick*

Patera
Vikman
*  = Free Agent

This is just one lineup of three we’ll get to examine this weekend. With them, we’ll get more information on players like Layton Ahac, Marcus Kallionkieli, Jermaine Loewen, Zack Hayes, Jonas Rondbjerg, and Peter DiLberatore.

In the end, it’s just a weekend, and placement in the lineup, as well as subsequent performances, will always be just a piece of the puzzle to how the Golden Knights view each prospect moving forward.

But it’s neat to get a peek behind the curtain a bit, now that we know where to look.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS SELECT ZACH DEAN (C) WITH 30TH OVERALL PICK IN 2021 DRAFT

With their 1st round pick in the 2021 Draft the Golden Knights have selected forward Zach Dean from Gatineau Olympiques from the QMJHL.

Dean is a 6’0″ 176 pound forward who has played both center and wing at the Junior level. Dean’s most known for his speed, hockey sense, and compete level.

When asked which NHL player he compares his game to, Dean said Mathew Barzal.

This is the first time the Golden Knights have selected a player from the QMJHL with their 1st selection in a draft, it is the 3rd player selected from the Q joining Xavier Bouchard (2018, 6th) and Lukas Cormier (2020, 3rd).

The great thing about Dean is he doesn’t need to put points on the board to have an impact in the game. His effort level in all three zones is second-to-none; Dean has an impact in each zone and has a very strong two-way game. He’s not the biggest player but competes hard on the ice; he’s involved along the boards and already plays a mature, pro game. He has a very good stick to win puck battles along the boards and always seems to be around the puck. He keeps his feet moving, he’s always involved in the play and his off-the-puck effort is good, too. –2021 NHL Black Book

Dean plays at a breakneck pace, stacking his skill as a handler and a passer on top of his skating ability to make plays without a moment’s hesitation. His hands work independent of his feet, with his top arm free from his side, pushed out well in front of him to grant him as much manoeuvrability as possible. If you get open, he’ll get you the puck. It’s just that simple. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide

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