As Rookie Camp began on Thursday, 13 Golden Knights prospects and 10 independent invitees began sessions at City National Arena.
Rookie Camp will include on-ice sessions at City National Arena on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the Golden Knights' group traveling to El Segundo, California to play games against Los Angeles Kings prospects.
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Of all the players attending camp, one player not in Vegas is Erik Brannstrom.
Brannstrom, a swift-skating, dynamic defenseman who the Golden Knights selected 15th overall in June's NHL Entry Draft, has already become popular with many of our fans. Which with his absence from Rookie Camp, led to us receiving many questions about his whereabouts
Video: Erik Brannstrom talks about the finish of Dev Camp
Speaking with general manager George McPhee, we were able to confirm that Brannstrom is missing Rookie Camp to start his season with his pro team in the Swedish Elite League, HV71. HV71 will play a 52-game schedule this season - plus the possibility of playoffs - from September until March.
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McPhee added that Brannstrom missing Rookie Camp to start his season with HV71 was both welcomed, and encouraged by the Golden Knights. While most players in Rookie Camp will return to either the minor leagues or junior hockey this season, Brannstrom's currently slated to play for HV71 in the Swedish Elite League, which is a full-fledged, major league professional hockey league.
Playing in the Swedish Elite League will expose the 18-year-old Brannstrom to competition that's 5-10 years older than him. The expectation is that this would accelerate his development, allowing him to become "NHL ready" more quickly.
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