Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp presented by Martin-Harris Construction has reached its most exciting segments: the scrimmages.
The prospects were divided into Team White and Team Gray for an afternoon scrimmage Thursday evening at City National Arena. Team Gray scored the game's first goal, but it was Team White who emerged with a 6-4 win.
Jack Dugan paced all scorers with three points (1G, 2A) for Team White while Keenan Suthers and Jake Leschyshyn each banked two goals for Team Gray. Dugan said he was happy that both teams put on a good show for the crowd that packed City National Arena.
"I think everyone felt pretty good after the first period and settled into their games," Dugan said. "It was a high-scoring game but that's fun for us and it's fun for the fans too."
Suthers, a camp invitee from St. Lawrence University, literally stands out on the ice with his 6-foot-8 frame, but his contributions offensively made him that much harder to miss. He gave credit to his teammates for his statistical showing, but also tipped his cap to the crowd for making the atmosphere so fun to play in.
"It was so awesome," Suthers said. "For a development camp scrimmage, it's first class. They really treated it like a pro game, and it was a lot of fun. You can see how committed the fans are to this team."
While Suthers has joined the VGK prospects for the first time this week, Dugan is nearing the end of his third development camp. He was part of the inaugural draft class that skated at Las Vegas Ice Center in 2017. Dugan said he's impressed with how far Vegas' development camp has come.
"It was cool to see the growth from the first year to now," he said. "We went from the smaller rink to now the team selling tickets to see us. It's so cool to see."
As the groups get ready to hit the ice tomorrow at 10 a.m. for another scrimmage, the color jersey they wear on the ice will be forgotten about for rest of the night. Suthers said that everyone takes the scrimmages seriously, but the competition doesn't affect their relationships away from the rink.
"You make really good friendships and relationships here," said Suthers. "It's hard to go up against those guys you know so well, but everyone wants to play high-level hockey. The competitive juices are flowing, and everyone wants to do well. Once you're on the ice, the friendships fade away a little bit, but you can always make up after."