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What Is Rookie Camp?

Who plays? When? Where? Why is this important?

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Part of the Golden Knights entering the NHL is many of our fans being exposed to many of the league's traditions for the first time.

One of these annual traditions, which began on Thursday at City National Arena (the team's practice facility) was Rookie Camp.

No, not training camp.

And no, this isn't like Development Camp, which was held at the Las Vegas Ice Center earlier this summer.

Rookie camp

Here are four things to know about Rookie Camp

1. Technically, not everybody is a rookie

Rookie camp more implies to players that have the chance to be rookies in the NHL this season. That being said, only a couple of the 23 players in Golden Knights Rookie Camp have a realistic chance of playing in the NHL this season.

Most of the players in rookie camp are between the ages of 18 and 20, with seven of Vegas' 12 selections from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft participating. The oldest player in camp is Tomas Hyka, a 24-year-old free agent the team signed this spring who had been playing professionally in the Czech Republic.

In total, Golden Knights Rookie Camp has

7: Players Drafted by the team
4: Players Acquired In Trades
2: Free agent signings
10: Unaffiliated players that were invited to camp

Generally speaking, the unaffiliated players are battling to earn a contract with the Golden Knights, or catch on with another team.

Players who have been drafted by the team, all 18 years of age, are longshots to make the NHL roster, but have the opportunity to play themselves into these opportunities this week. Most of the players drafted by the team will be returning to their junior clubs this season.

The players that were either acquired via trade or free agency - Alex Tuch, Reid Duke, Tomas Hyka, Jake Bischoff, Keegan Kolesar - are the most interesting.

These players are playing to either make the Golden Knights or be returned to the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.


2. When is rookie camp? Where will it take place?

Rookie camp started on Thursday, and will run until next Wednesday. This precedes the team's regular training camp, which will begin late next week.

Players from Rookie Camp generally don't participate in regular camp, and vice versa.

Sessions from September 7-11 will be held at the team's new practice facility, City National Arena. Rookie Camp concludes when the Golden Knights' prospects travel to El Segundo, California to play against the Los Angeles Kings' prospects on September 12 and 13, to finish camp.



3. What Is The Significance Of Rookie Camp?

Over the summer, the team held Development Camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center. That featured most of these same players coming to town and competing in similar contests as they'll be competing in this week.

The difference is that competition is way fiercer in Rookie Camp.

As Logan Thompson, a free agent goalie invited to both Golden Knights Development Camp and Rookie Camp, explains:

"I think Development Camp is just to get used to the guys around the room," Thompson said. "Coaches are trying to get an idea of what kind of person you are.

"Now, it's getting close to hockey season, so they want to see what you can do. They want to see your skill and your talent. It's just another step, and it's going to be that much harder."

Not to mention, although the games that Golden Knights prospects play against the Kings next week don't really count for anything, they still will be the first contests that Vegas will ever be participating in against another organization.


4. Where Can Fans Watch Rookie Camp?

There won't be television nor radio coverage of either camp nor the camp games against the Kings next week.

The Golden Knights will be providing nonstop coverage on our website and social media channels.

Twitter: @GoldenKnights
Instagram: @VegasGoldenKnights
Snapchat: Golden.Knights

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