A Bradford, Ontario native, Jordan Kooy's dream has come true. Kooy, 18, was a seventh-round draft pick (208th overall) of the Vegas Golden Knights.
After drafting twice in the sixth round, it appeared the Golden Knights were done for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on June 23, but the seventh round arrived and Vegas made a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for that 208th pick.
Goaltending coach Dave Prior had his eye on Kooy, a goalie with the OHL's Lond on Knights, and the Golden Knights staff made it happen. Kooy couldn't believe he would get to still be a "Knight."
"After I got called by my agent and goalie coaches back in London, I looked at my mom and dad and said, 'I'm still a Knight!" We all laughed for a bit," he said. "It was pretty nice to still be a Knight and say you are a Golden Knight from a London Knight."
Kooy played in his second season with the London Knights, posting a 3.11 goals-against average with a .904 save percentage in 24 games during the 2017-18 season. He earned the Dinty Moore Trophy for having the best goals-against average for a rookie and was also named to the All-Rookie Second Team to cap-off his season.
Only a couple days after the draft, Kooy arrived in Las Vegas to skate at City National Arena for his first development camp. Kooy was teammates and roommates with fellow goalie Dylan Ferguson for the week of camp.
"It was a great experience," he said. "Dylan is a great guy and a good mentor. We played quite a bit of Fortnite in the room, but it was a fun time this week with Fergie, [Jiri] Patera, [Maksim] Zhukov. We all had a great time bonding and getting to know each other."
Ferguson, who has been to development camp before and even saw some ice time last season with the Golden Knights, and Prior were influential to Kooy throughout the week.
"The first thing I told him about Dave is that he is going to tell you the first thing that comes up in his mind, he is a really straightforward guy, but don't take it to heart, he is trying to make you better," Ferguson said. "The first thing he said to Jordan was critical and Jordan looked at me and smiled because I prepared him for that. I'm just trying to do the right things and show him the right way."
Kooy became a sponge during camp and now taking what he learned an applying it toward his game.
"Dave is a nice guy and really straight forward, but it's good," he said. "He tells you when you are doing something wrong, so you can fix it and do it the right way, the way he wants you to do it."
Kooy will return to the London Knights and take the memories of development camp with him.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I learned a lot of from Dave and all the guys here, especially Fergie. I really had a great time. It's been just a great experience."