The Knights Watch: Checking in on Golden Knights prospects (Sept. 1 - 23)
A look at the goings-on of prospects and Golden Knight organization players who are not on the NHL roster.
In a world-wide sport like hockey there can be a lot to keep up with. Even if you only wish to keep up with the players within the Vegas Golden Knights organisation it can be overwhelming. Between the NHL team, prospects in the KHL, SHL, all through the junior leagues in Canada, the United States, Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, it can be too much.
That's why we're here.
Welcome to The Knights Watch. A name we definitely came up with on our own with no outside influences whatsoever...
(Please don’t sue us HBO and George. Big fans!)
Every week, myself and fellow Knights On Ice writer/editor Ryan Quigley will keep you updated on all the recent stats, news, and important notes you may have missed from all your non-NHL roster Golden Knights.
Now, we here on the NHL side of things are obviously still in the preseason and because those games were watchable, with one notable exception (looking at you, San Jose), we’re going to skip the players that are still on the training camp roster for this week (Wong, Tuch, Hyka, etc.).
However, the CHL has begun its regular season, as have the SHL and KHL.
As this is the first article in this series we’ll start by clearing the table of all the stats so far, all the numbers from Sept. 1 (the start of the KHL season) until now (or rather, Sept. 23), and then move on to weekly updates going forward. Let's get started.
(KHL) 7-13—20 (14GP)
Gusev plays on the ridiculously skilled SKA St. Petersburg who are 14-0-0 (in NHL terms, not really sure how the KHL does their standings) and he leads the league in scoring above teammates Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk. He’s in the KHL for another two seasons (minimum) so this really only serves as a tease for what is hopefully to come for the Golden Knights.
(NHL) 0-2—2 (2GP)
(WHL) 1-2—3 (1GP)
Glass is too good for the WHL, but the Golden Knights decided he was not yet ready for the NHL. Or, perhaps they didn't want to burn a year on his contract in a season that the team doesn't intend on contending in. We don't know. What we do know is Glass is incredible and he notched two points in the pre-season, then went back to the WHL and put up three, including two assists, on Saturday.
(NHL) 1-1—2 (2GP)
(OHL) 1-1—2 (1GP)
Suzuki impressed in his first game with the Golden Knights but was inevitably sent back to his junior club. He picked up where he left off last season when he had 45 goals and 96 points in 65 games by putting up a goal and an assist against the Flint Firebirds. He also had an incredible NINE shots on goal in the contest. Keep shooting, kid.
(NHL) 0-1—1 (1GP)
(OHL) 0-1—1 (2GP)
Still perhaps a step slow at the NHL level, the big blueliner is still a top-level OHL talent. In his return to the Mississauga Steelheads he put nine shots on goal in two games. Though he only managed a single assist in those two games, the points will come. Figure out the skating to avoid being a Luca Sbisa, Martin Marincin type player and Vegas has a gem.
(SHL) 0-0—0 (3GP)
It's a bit difficult to judge Brannstrom against other players on this list. He didn't go to a junior team to play against other players his age or younger, he's in a men's league in Sweden. That said, he has yet to register a point, has six shots, and is averaging about 16 minutes per night.
After being released from camp, the Nanaimo, BC native returned to the Tri-City Americans of the WHL in time for their season opener on Saturday. He was held off the scoresheet and was a negative-2. He also had 14 minutes in penalties including two Interference penalties and then a 10-minute misconduct. Not exactly the return he'd hoped for after signing an entry-levelcontract with the Golden Knights.
(NHL) 1-0 .879 Save Percentage 4.07 Goals Against
(WHL) 0-2 .841 SV% 6.60 GAA
A bit of a mixed bag for the young prospect goaltender. After a relatively strong effort in preseason, he was returned to the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL where he has been absolutely torched. Allowing six goals in two periods during his first game on Friday against Kelowna, he followed it up with a five goals against effort in the second night of a home-and-home series against the Blazers. .
We should note that no, we did not forget about the AHL. When the AHL kicks off its season it will be given its own article, likely written by our resident Chicago Wolves specialist Shepard Price, so watch for those in the coming weeks.
[Editor’s Note: This article was amended after an error was discovered that gave SKA St. Petersburg a 13-0-1 record when they were in fact 14-0-0]