Though it may be the dead period of summer in the NHL calendar, many notable Vegas Golden Knight prospects have been putting in hard work over the last two weeks
The World Junior Summer Showcase, held in Plymouth, Michigan from the June 29 to Aug. 5, is one of the first opportunities for players to create a foothold on a roster spot for their countries IIHF World Junior Championship roster.
The Golden Knights were well represented with Nic Hague, Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki having suited up for Team Canada. Meanwhile, Erik Brannstrom played for his native Sweden.
Unfortunately, the Golden Knight prospects weren’t quite firing on all cylinders. Only Brannstrom (three assists) and Suzuki (two assists) managed to get on the score sheet. Glass was uncharacteristically quiet while Hague struggled during an 8-2 loss to the USA being on the ice for multiple goals against, while occasionally looking lost.
On a positive note; while it may have been a bit of a missed opportunity for some posturing, it's important to remember these games don't actually matter in the long-run.
And though you might have hoped for more out of Glass or Hague in their first action since being drafted by the Golden Knights, these games in no way diminish the potential the four of them have.
Most importantly though, the showcase did serve notice in one very important respect: This was clearly Brannstrom’s answer to Knights On Ice writer Dalton Mack and his prospect profile on Nic Hague (thanks for reading, Erik) and acts as reminder to the kind of elite talent he possesses with the puck on his stick. The wizardry, the ... *ahem* bite-sized Brannstrom is capable of.
Here a look at the most shared gifs making the rounds on Twitter.
Brannstrom with the beautiful tape-to-tape pass to Lias Andersson set up a tap-in goal. He starts by creating a better angle for himself by coming down off the blueline, forcing the goalie to play the shot. He then fires a hard, accurate pass between the Canadian defense right on the stick of Andersson, who redirects it home for the PP goal.
This is just Erik Karlsson-like. There's no other way to put it. Brannstrom collects the puck in his own zone, views the ice for but a moment, and the fires and incredible stretch pass leading to a breakaway and goal for Oskar Steen.
Here’s an alternate angle this pass. It's poetry in motion.
Your move, Nic Hague.