Golden Knights camp is hitting the mid-point with three preseason games in the rear view and GM George McPhee and his group are deep into thought and rumination on naming their opening night roster.
Head coach Gerard Gallant has said a number of times throughout camp that he would like to have as close to a regular lineup as possible on the ice for the club's last two pre-season games.
Watching every skate and every game has led to some impressions and thoughts so far:
Hunt is in the hunt: Free agent defenseman Brad Hunt can skate and think. He's not a lock by and stretch but there is lots to like about his game. He's got a chance.
Video: VGK@COL: Hunt rips a slap shot top corner
Ship has a chip: Center Vadim Shipachyov is in the process of adjusting to the North American game. One of the first things he told VegasGoldenKnights.com during a visit to Vegas this summer was he understood the physical nature of the game is different in the NHL from the KHL. In his first pre-season game he finished checks and on one occasion knocked Colorado Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens to the ice. That's not going to be his game but it's part of the NHL. A good test to pass early on.
Hyka is hot: Tomas Hyka has scored in every game he's skated in during camp. First in two rookie games and now in two pre-season games. He's on an Entry Level Contract and can go to the AHL without having to clear waivers. But he's in the mix right now to make the big club. The question: Can he continue to produce against real NHL rosters. Second question: Can he do it for 82 games.
Video: VGK@COL: Hyka buries shot five-hole to finish rush
Breaking in Glass: McPhee sent Glass back to junior on Friday but a case could have been made for keeping him around longer. While it's clear Glass is not yet physically ready for the NHL, he does think the game at a pro level. In fact, from an offensive standpoint, Glass's though process is well ahead of most the Golden Knights. Next up for him is to become a physical machine. Strong and durable.
Video: Glass scores his first goal and puts Vegas ahead 2-0
Garrison's gauge: Jason Garrison plays hockey like chess. He's about the angles and being efficient. He's going to be a steadying influence on the backend and don't forget about that shot. His blast from the point is still elite. He's had a strong camp.
Skating Schmidt: Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt is a fluid and fast skater. His first stride is explosive and there's no doubt he can transport the puck which is a great quality. He's going to get the ice and opportunity with Vegas to show he can also generate offense.