The Vegas Golden Knights opened training camp almost one week ago. What battles are we keeping an eye on? How have Logan Thompson and Adin Hill looked? Who is getting noticed?
Reilly Smith’s departure left an opening on the third line with William Karlsson and Michael Amadio. Paul Cotter was given the first shot to practice on the third line. Cotter and Karlsson had instant chemistry during Thursday’s practice and early. Pavel Dorofeyev and Max Comtois are in the mix as well. Cotter is the early favorite to replace Smith on the third line.
Dorofeyev continued right where he left off last season. There were not many bright spots in Sunday’s preseason game vs. the San Jose Sharks, Dorofeyev’s assist on Ivan Barbashev’s goal was a bright spot. Dorofeyev is making a push and a case could be made to consider using the 22-year-old on the second line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson.
Golden Knights radio commentator Gary Lawless spoke at length about Comtois and where he could fit in the lineup. Lawless suggested Comtois matches up well with Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault. It would be interesting to see if Eichel and Marchessault can continue to put up points without Barbashev. Could Barbashev elevate Stone’s and Barbashev’s offensive games like he did with Eichel and Marchessault?
Zach Whitecloud left Monday’s preseason game with an upper-body injury. Cassidy mentioned that Whitecloud will need to be looked at and get X-rays done. If Whitecloud is to miss regular season games, a new battle will take place between Ben Hutton and Kaedan Korczak for his spot.
Logan Thompson got his first taste of game action dating back to March. Thompson was able to play for approximately thirty minutes before being swapped out. Thompson’s exit was planned. It was not the best performance 26-year-old. His stats are unimportant from Monday’s preseason game. What matters is Thompson finished the game without injury.
Jiri Patera has had a rocky start. He gave up five goals in two periods on Sunday. Patera bounced back on Monday giving up one goal in the last half of the game. There is no competition for the third spot behind Thompson and Adin Hill. General manager Kelly McCrimmon expressed confidence in the 24-year-old based on his performance last season.
Hill has looked solid in practice and expects to draw into Wednesday’s preseason game.
Who is getting noticed?
Sheldon Rempal had a power play goal in Monday’s preseason game. Rempal has been right around a point-per-game player in the AHL for the last two seasons. The 28-year-old’s professional career started in 2018 with the Ontario Reign. Rempal has appeared in 265 AHL games vs. just 12 NHL games. Could Rempal be a late bloomer? Or his he forever stuck in that odd place of being above the AHL game and not ready to make the next step to the NHL?
Brendan Brisson continues to try to impress the coaching staff and management. Brisson would have to beat out four NHL veterans to crack the opening night roster. Expect Brisson to start the season with the Henderson Silver Knights and to make his NHL debut sometime over the winter.