Las Vegas–Today’s Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp at their temporary home, the players kicked the skills and abilities into high gear.
Yesterday’s session was more of getting that rust off for players who haven’t skated in weeks and for those like Keegan Kolesar who recently came of off a WHL Championship run with the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Another player who stood out in yesterday’s practice was the first Golden Knights player ever signed in franchise history in Reid Duke. Duke spent time on a PTO with the team’s AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves.
During that time in Chicago for Duke, he was able to see first hand of what is expected of a hockey player a next level of the sport. The work ethic involved to never taking days off.
With day 2 practice Chicago Wolves Head Coach Rocky Thompson put the guys thru a much more rigorous training session. This was to get the guys ready for tomorrow’s scrimmage game which is the first one of the development camp.
Players did skating drills up and down the ice to get that work in for their legs and feet. In hockey to prevent you from getting into penalty trouble, you have to keep your feet moving.
Goaltenders attending the camp were put thru read and react drills on the other side of the facility to stop pucks from getting past them. A goaltenders responsibility is to be that line of defense.
Passing drills by the forwards and defenseman were also on display during day 2 of camp and fans that were at the Las Vegas Ice Center got to hear how loud passes can be from tape to tape.
This is an important part of the game because it can either make or break a play on the ice. Crisp passes are vital when a team is trying to score a goal in the offensive end of the ice or getting out of a jam when they are under pressure.
Playmakers make their living in providing those type of passes to their goal scorers.
Neutral zones battles were also on the docket in today’s practice. Stickhandling drills were also conducted at today’s day 2 practice session. Also included in today’s practice was the forwards and defenseman had the opportunity shoot against the goalies.
This was probably the best part of today’s practice was skaters working on their scoring abilities.
All these drills that the prospects were put thru today was an effort to get them primed and ready to go for tomorrow’s game that will take place in the afternoon.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant spent yesterday and today just watching practice while his AHL counterpart Thompson with the Wolves has been running practice.
“For me, it’s about all the kids working hard,” Gallant said.
Gallant mentions working hard. To be in the NHL you have to work hard every day.
“Here it’s about skill development, getting better, learning how to eat the right food, learning how to work out in the summer time. That’s what we want to get the message across to these kids.” Gallant continues.
Each day during development camp players continue to work on their strengths as well as their weakness like shooting, skating, to puckhandling.
For Gallant, he participated in the first session but then became more of a spectator during the team’s second practice. He has also been spending the time over the course of development camps first two days the skaters.
Tomorrow’s practices start in the morning with the first of three scheduled scrimmages for development camp. For the players, they understand that during the scrimmage they we need to continue to impress if they want to get invited back to a future camp down the road.