In a year with a compact training camp and no pre-season games, there’s little time to waste for the Vegas Golden Knights. Even though it’s only the first scrimmage of training camp, it provided a lot of information as to how the VGK will look this season.
The teams took to the ice for some instruction followed by a Grey/White Scrimmage, won by Team Grey 2-1. Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith scored for Grey while Gage Quinney scored for Team White. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win but both he and Robin Lehner looked sharp for early camp work.
What We Know:
The lines are already shaped for the most part for the forwards. While I know things could change due to injury or other factors, it appears head coach Pete DeBoer has a pretty solid idea of what he’s going to open the regular season with.
Second Line Center
This is by far the biggest question facing the Golden Knights up front entering the 2021 campaign. Chandler Stephenson was slotted in between Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. As we’ve said previously Stephenson showed well between those two last year, so it’s no surprise that he would be slotted in between them to start camp. As of now, Cody Glass is centering the third line between Alex Tuch and Nicholas Roy. It’s a good spot for the youngster, who may still have a shot at the 2C at some point. In the meantime it’s a good place to continue accruing experience at the NHL level.
Fourth Line Center
Tomas Nosek was in the middle of the fourth unit with William Carrier and Ryan Reaves. With the departure of Nick Cousins it leaves the potential for some shuffle in the bottom six, but I’m willing to bet this is very much what we will see come opening night.
Pacioretty Is Flying
Max Pacioretty is flying out there. Coming in after trade rumors swirled around him all off-season, Pacioretty seems determined to make his mark early. In fact, that line looked very good and poised to pick right back up where they left off last season. Hell hath no fury like your team’s leading scorer threatened with a trade apparently.
While we figured on the top four defensive pairings looking like they did today, you just don’t know until they hit the ice. Alex Pietrangelo was paired with Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez with Shea Theodore. Also, Zach Whitecloud and Nicolas Hague played together and could easily end up as the 5-6 pair if DeBoer has the trust in them to get the job done. Stay tuned here.
Gage Quinney was the lone goal scorer for Team White today, playing on a line with Jack Dugan and Tomas Jurco. Dugan is one of the guys who could make a real impression in this training camp after leading the NCAA in scoring last season with Providence College. Jurco brings NHL experience and should be a taxi squad guy. At 25, Quinney finally saw his first taste of NHL action last season, appearing in three games with Vegas. He’s at that point in his career where the window could shut, or be thrown wide open. This camp will mean a lot to him.
So that’s our look at Day One of Golden Knights training camp. Today’s line combinations are below: