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Golden Knights Expansion Status Presents Unique Dev Camp Opportunities

The team has 27 invitees in Vegas looking to make an impression

by Cutler Klein @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

This is not your run-of-the-mill NHL Development Camp.

Players invited to partake in the Vegas Golden Knights' inaugural Development Camp know that, and are excited about seizing the opportunity to prove they belong on the ground floor of the newest NHL expansion franchise.

"It's a blank slate for everyone, everyone's got just as big of a chance to be able to crack the team as anyone else does," said Tyler Wong, an invitee from the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes. "So, it's an amazing feeling to know that no one's been seen here before, and you have the same opportunity as everyone else. It's definitely an exciting time for all of us here."

While a typical team may invite only a handful of players from outside the team's prospect pipeline, the Golden Knights invited 27 additional players to development camp, alongside all of the team's draft picks and players acquired via signing and trade, such as Alex Tuch and Reid Duke. 

Video: Nick Suzuki arrives in Vegas camp

Having only completed one NHL Entry Draft, the Golden Knights will be looking to fill out a farm system, and development camp is a good first step in evaluating players that could potentially enter the prospect pipeline.

In some ways, the Golden Knights are the NHL's team of opportunity for young prospects.

"I think it is, it doesn't really matter which team you go to, as long as you have an opportunity to play there," said Max Veronneau, an invitee from Princeton University. "But clearly, because it's the first year, there's a lot of openings and they don't have too many prospects right now, so there is quite a bit of opportunity here."

With the eyes of Golden Knights staff, fans and scouts on them while they're on the ice, these invitees recognize how important it is to show what they can do.

 

Video: Reid Duke on his first day as a Golden Knight

 

"Yeah, it's definitely a big opportunity for myself to get into a team," said Dmitry Osipov, an invitee from the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings. "Obviously, there's a good opportunity to other guys to kind of step in and try to get to a team too, but for myself, I'm going to try to do as best as I can to get in."

Even if things can be competitive at times, these invitees are grateful for every chance they get.

"It's an awesome feeling," said Keoni Texeira from the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. "I feel blessed and I'm just happy to be here." 

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