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Training Camp Day 1: Cassidy Experiments With Golden Knights Line Combinations

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Phil Kessel Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Phil Kessel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights opened training camp on Thursday morning, with three separate groups taking the ice all throughout the day. We’ll be at camp all week, and if you plan on joining us, here’s a guide. Look for stories on Joe Fleming and Sakari Manninen in the near future.

The most interesting thing to analyze during day one of the camp was the Golden Knight’s lines, which is always fun. With it being preseason, new coach Bruce Cassidy get a perfect opportunity to shuffle his team’s lines and see what does and doesn’t work. Don’t take most of these lines seriously.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon also announced a series of injury updates regarding Nolan Patrick, Mark Stone, and Brendan Brisson.

Some players were missing, and some were wearing red jerseys. But here’s the Golden Knights lines as things currently stand after day one of training camp and also what group they were in if you are looking to come and see a specific player this week.

 

Vegas Golden Knights Lines

Reilly Smith- Jack Eichel- Phil Kessel (A)

Jonathan Marchessault- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone (B)

Brett Howden- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio (C)

William Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar (C)

Jonas Rondbjerg- Jake Leschyshyn- Paul Cotter/Marcus Kallionkieli (B)

Ivan Morozov- Pavel Dorofeyev- Lynden McCallum (C)

Gage Quinney- Sakari Manninen- Sheldon Rempal (A)

Zach Dean- Byron Froese- Daniel D’Amato/Brendan Brisson (A)

Patrick Guay- Matyas Sapovaliv- Mason Primeau (A)

Jordan Gustafson- Jakub Brabanec- Maxim Marushev (B)

Alex Swetlikoff- Connor Ford- Ben Hemmerling (C)

Jermaine Loewen- Colt Conrad- Kyle Marino (C)

Alex Pietrangelo- Alec Martinez (B)

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore/Layton Ahac (C)

Zach Whitecloud- Ben Hutton/Zack Hayes (A)

Peter DiLiberatore- Kaedan Korczak/William Reidell (C)

Joe Fleming- Lukas Cormier (B)

Arthur Cholach- Jake Bishoff (C)

Daniil Chayka- Bayden Pachal/Connor Corcoran (A)

Logan Thompson (B), Adin Hill (C), Michael Hutchinson (A), Jiri Patera (A), Jesper Vikman (B), Isaiah Saville (C), Jordan Papirny (C)

IR: Jakub Demek, Spencer Foo, Daniil Miromanov, Laurent Brossoit

LTIR: Robin Lehner, Nolan Patrick, Shea Weber

Takeaways

There’s a lot to digest here, and most of this will be outdated in a week or so. We just wanted to get all of this marked down for interested fans and for easy reference. This roster will only decrease over the next couple of weeks, with players moving all over the place for the Golden Knights.

“We don’t know exactly what the lines are going to be, especially with a new coaching staff coming in,” said Golden Knights captain Mark Stone.

Kessel on Line 1

The biggest surprise from camp so far has been Phil Kessel on the first line. Kessel, 34, skated with Reilly Smith and Jack Eichel. Many people question whether or not Kessel, who had eight goals last season, can still keep up the pace of a top-line player in the NHL. So far, he sits on the top line as we start camp.

Spot Open For Hague

The way the defense is laid out, there is a clear spot for Nicolas Hague when he signs. The Golden Knights rotated a lot of their defenseman on day one of camp, likely due to the fact they have an uneven number of them.

The holdout with Hague has been ongoing since the VGK gave him a qualifying offer in July. He is one of four RFA’s in the NHL that are currently holding out from training camp over contract disputes.

“I had mentioned before that getting Nic signed was an offseason priority for the hockey club. It remains that way. Nic is a real good young player and a player that we think will do some good things in this organization,” said general manager McCrimmon.

Stephenson At Center, Howden at Wing

With the Golden Knight’s center depth now bolstered since the Eichel trade, someone on the Golden Knights was going to have to play wing. So far, it looks like that player in Brett Howden. Chandler Stephenson slid in as the team’s second line center with Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault.

Who To Watch

These line combinations should be taken with a grain of salt but can give us an idea of what Cassidy has in mind for the upcoming season. You can’t put 67 player team on the ice in the NHL, unfortunately.

“We put some lines together, and we’ll go from there. Guys are going to move around; it’s inevitable,” said Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy.

This roster will be trimmed periodically, and the players I would keep an eye on the most would be Jonas Rondbjerg, Paul Cotter, and Jake Leschyshyn. All three of these players have to clear waivers to be sent down to the Henderson Silver Knights.

I would also keep tabs on the defense situation if Hague remains out. Kaedan Korczak could be ready, and without Dylan Coghlan, he could be a spare defenseman for the VGK.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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The U

Sakari Manninen over Amadio for Sure. Manninen, faster, more creative and a better shooter. I hope Cassidy move Sakari up

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