Four of a Kind (Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, Nic Hague)The question for these four is if any of them are ready to take the next step to play in the NHL next season. George McPhee called it a long shot that any of the four make the roster, but if they are going to, the path starts now. They’d have to clearly rise above everyone else to even have a chance. Last year, Brannstrom was the most impressive, but the junior seasons of Glass, Suzuki, and Hague give hope they’ll come in and shine this week.
Whitecloud has a chance to be this year’s Alex Tuch. Last year the 21-year-old Tuch looked like a man amongst boys at Development Camp and it began his path to earning a spot on the Golden Knights roster full time. As it currently stands, there does look to be a spot open for Whitecloud to slide into, but he has to be great starting this week to get it. Whitecloud won’t be the oldest player in camp, but it needs to look like he is. He should be without question the most pro-ready player at Development Camp. By the time the week is out, making sure that is clear would go a long way to McPhee penciling him into the plans to start out next season.
Many of the players at Development Camp for the Golden Knights are not under Vegas’ control, Schuldt is the most intriguing of them all. Like Whitecloud was a year ago, Schuldt is one of the most coveted undrafted NCAA free agents and will be free to sign with any team when his next season at St. Cloud University is over. A Hobey Baker finalist, he’s an offensive-minded defenseman who was the captain of his team as a junior.
Last year at this time he was in the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp and the Habs have reportedly been keeping their eyes on Schuldt ever since. McPhee proved a year ago that he’s willing to sign a player like Schuldt and hand him an immediate roster spot right out of college. Being invited to Vegas’ camp is a good sign the Golden Knights like the player and may consider signing him when he’s eligible. However, coming to camp doesn’t always mean you have a leg up on signing the player. Zach Whitecloud was in Kings camp last year, and we all know how that worked out.
[/caption]The diminutive, speedy forward was a standout at training camp last year. Coming back to Development Camp gives him another chance to stake his claim as a potential scoring option for the upcoming season. He had a hat-trick in the Golden Knights first preseason game but fell off a bit as camp went on, especially when the big boys came in. Then, in the AHL, Wong scored just three goals in 54 games. At Development Camp, he should be one of the fastest players and he should do well in scrimmages against the younger players.
The son of former NHLer Curtis Leschyshyn, Jake was slotted as a 1st round talent prior to the 2017 NHL Draft. Then he tore his ACL and slipped to the late 2nd round where the Golden Knights scooped him up. He missed Development Camp last year recovering from the injury, so this will be the first chance we get to see what he can do among other Vegas draft picks. Leschyshyn was on the ice at training camp and ended up sticking around well after the rest of the rookies were gone, likely so the NHL doctors could assist in his rehab. He had an okay season with the Regina Pats who eventually went on to the Memorial Cup Final. Leschyshyn should be a player we consider among the top prospects in the Golden Knights system, but he needs to prove it. This is a good chance to do so.
Jake Slaker and Wyatt Ege
The only two players not under Golden Knights control that will be making their second Development Camp appearances in Vegas. Slaker and Ege are NCAA rivals at Michigan and Ohio State. Can’t say we know a ton about either, but a second invite is certainly saying something about what the Golden Knights think of these two players. Not sure what exactly we’ll be watching for, but we’ll be watching
- VGK draft picks attending camp
- Drafted in 2017: Nick Campoli, Jack Dugan, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Ben Jones, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, Nicolas Hague, Jiri Patera, Dylan Ferguson, Maksim Zhukov (All attended camp in 2017)
- Drafted in 2018: Paul Cotter, Brandon Kruse, Xavier Bouchard, Connor Corcoran, Peter Diliberatore, Jordan Kooy
- Signed, but not drafted, VGK players attending camp
- Signed in 2017: Reid Duke, Keegan Kolesar, Tyler Wong, Dylan Coghlan (All attended camp in 2017)
- Signed in 2018: Gage Quinney, Zach Whitecloud
- Not attending camp
- Slava Demin (drafted #99 in 2018), Zachary Leslie (acquired via trade from LAK), Brooks Macek (signed on 6/12/18), Ivan Morozov (drafted #61 in 2018)
2018 Development Camp Roster
Forwards (24): Matt Baker, Tarek Baker, Luke Burghardt, Nick Campoli, Ryan Chyzowski, Paul Cotter, Dawson DiPietro, Jack Dugan, Reid Duke, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Ben Jones, Brett Kemp, Keegan Kolesar, Brandon Kruse, Jake Leschyshyn, Steve Owre, Gage Quinney, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Slaker, Nick Suzuki, Ryan Wagner, Tyler Wong
Defensemen (14): Martin Bodak, Erik Brannstrom, Xavier Bouchard, Dylan Coghlan, Connor Corcoran, Charlie Curti, Peter Diliberatore, Wyatt Ege, Reece Harsch, Nicolas Hague, Bobby Nardella, Corey Schueneman, Jimmy Schuldt, Zach Whitecloud
Goaltenders (4): Jordan Kooy, Jiri Patera, Dylan Ferguson, Maksim Zhukov
2017 Development Camp Roster
Forwards (24): Patrick Bajkov, Alex Barre-Boulet, Kenny Brooks, Nick Campoli, Jack Dugan, Reid Duke, Lucas Elvenes, Cody Glass, Jayden Halbgewachs, Brendan Harris, Tomas Hyka, Ben Jones, Keegan Kolesar, Jake Leschyshyn, Josh Melnick, Darian Romanko, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Slaker, Martin Sundberg, Nick Suzuki, Alex Tuch, Max Veronneau, Sebastian Vidmar, Tyler Wong
Defensemen (15): Jake Bischoff, Erik Brannstrom, Nikolas Brouillard, Dylan Coghlan, Wyatt Ege, Max Gottlieb, Nicolas Hague, Grant Hutton, Michael Kim, Dmitry Osipov, Alexey Solovyev, Keoni Texeira, Matthew Timms, Will Warm, Justin Wells
Goaltenders (5): Griffen Outhouse, Jiri Patera, Artur Pavliukov, Logan Thompson, Maksim Zhukov