Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | 2 a.m.
It's a first chance to show the Golden Knights brass what they've got — for most of them anyway.
Eyes are always on the newcomers at development camp, which began Tuesday at City National Arena and runs daily through Saturday. But 10 of the 43 players donning Vegas practice jerseys weren't new faces at all.
That group is practically veterans, going through their third go-round after participating in the initial camp in 2017 as well as last year.
“Hopefully not be at another development camp, that’s my goal — obviously that means I’d be in the NHL,” forward Cody Glass said. “Nothing’s ever given to you. You have to earn everything.”
Glass and forwards Nick Campoli, Jack Dugan, Lucas Elvenes, Ben Jones, Jake Leschyshyn and Jonas Rondbjerg, defensemen Dylan Coghlan and Nicolas Hague, and goalie Jiri Patera are pretty familiar with the routine by now.
“They’re the leaders of this camp,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “That’s something that you like to see passed on as people go through the organization."
Glass was in development camp last year, training camp with the Golden Knights, a full season in Portland of the WHL including time with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, then joined the AHL-affiliate Chicago Wolves for their playoff run. It’s been a long season, but it started and ended with some of the same people.
Defensemen Hague and Coghlan are three-year veterans of development camp as well, and spent last year in the AHL. They were roommates this year and welcomed Glass to Chicago when he arrived. They said they appreciate that role of elder statesmen, and are taking it into this year’s camp with the younger players.
“It’s nice making friends like that and going through first year of pro with them,” Coghlan said. “Me and Cody and Nic are really excited for the week.”
Glass, Hague and Coghlan met at development camp two years ago, when their friendship began. They celebrated their success in the AHL and grieved over their loss to the Charlotte Checkers in the Calder Cup Finals.
It’s that development that the team values, watching players grow together and pass that knowledge onto the next class. Every player has the same goal of making the NHL, and those who have been here three times know they’re closer than most.
“There’s obviously a bit of a leadership role I think, being one of the guys who’s been through this before,” Hague said. “These are guys who I’m going to be playing with in the future, so it’s kind of where the friendships are bonded.”