HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — The Chicago Wolves are the Vegas Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate. As such, they’re a grooming ground for players who don’t quite cut the Knights’ opening roster, but have a future in the NHL. The team opened training camp on Monday ahead of their preseason debut against the Rockford Ice Hogs, affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Along with welcoming the Vegas Golden Knights, the Wolves have also welcomed new head coach Rocky Thompson, previously the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires. Thompson has also coached at an NHL level as an assistant with the Edmonton Oilers and played games with the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers as a right wing.
Two players who had extended looks with the Golden Knights, T.J. Tynan and Paul Thompson, were recently placed on waivers and will likely receive healthy playing time with the Wolves.
Players that especially stood out on the first day of camp were defensemen Dmitry Osipov and Chris Casto, as well as forward Scooter Vaughan. Casto is signed to the Vegas Golden Knights, while Osipov and Vaughan also have contracts with the Wolves. Vaughan was with the Golden Knights at the start of training camp, and Osipov and Casto could get looks in the future, should they prove themselves worthy with the Wolves this season.
Other notables at the start of training camp were Bryce Gervais and Brett Sterling, veterans of the Chicago Wolves. Sterling is in second place in franchise history in goal scoring and Gervais scored 13 goals and 21 points with the Wolves last year. They’ll provide good mentorship for players like Casto and Tynan striving towards the NHL.
Training camp will continue throughout the week before that Friday night game, and more Golden Knights could be sent down to join the camp already in progress.