When the Vegas Golden Knights opened training camp, captain Mark Stone said it was the potentially the best group of forwards he has ever played with.
But that was before the injuries started piling up. Nicolas Roy. Brett Howden. William Carrier. All missing time during the preseason.
But it does create opportunities for others. And coach Peter DeBoer said it was important to give the young players a fair look to make the team.
“We’ve got some great competition for those spots,” DeBoer said earlier this week.
Nolan Patrick was never really in danger of not making the opening night roster. In fact, he’s getting better with each game and practice. His comfort level is increasing and barring injury, he’s going to be on the ice next Tuesday.
Ditto for Keegan Kolesar. He has been impressive since Day One of training camp and he had a goal in Tuesday’s 7-4 win over Colorado. His hard work in the off-season is evident and he may be looking at playing third-line minutes instead of on the fourth line.
“I’m getting there,” Kolesar said Wednesday after practice at City National Arena. “I’m still working on things. But I’m getting more ice time and moe trust from the coaching staff. It definitely helps your confidence. I’m trying to do things the right way every day an ask the right questions and learn.”
So assuming Roy’s ribs don’t heal, Carrier’s facial lacerations need time to heal and Howden isn’t able to go, who can be on the ice next Tuesday against Seattle?