From when training camp opens through the day each individual player learns his respective fate, every day is a battle.
If a player wins those battles each day, he has a chance to become what Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon calls an "everydayer." That term implies that a player has found a niche with the NHL club which allows him to be seen every day.
There are 53 players at camp who are trying to make their case to be everydayers, but with a finite number of roster spots, the best that some can hope for is to learn from the players who spend the entire season in the NHL. McCrimmon said he wants to see the young players begin to adopt habits that they pick up from the guys who don the Vegas sweater on a nightly basis during the season.
"They do the right things day in and day out. That's what makes them good pros," said McCrimmon. "With the young players, you're always measuring where they're at on the continuum as they continue to grow and develop."
One of Vegas' original draft picks, Ben Jones (2017 7th round, 189th overall), missed the entirety of the Anaheim Rookie Faceoff due to injury but is expected to return to the ice when the first practices of camp get underway Friday. The opportunity to show his own growth and continue to learn from everydayers are reasons that this camp is important to Jones.
"For me, this is the real camp," Jones said. "Development camp has been about the younger guys coming here, meeting everyone and getting experience but now this is the real camp that you train for all summer. You come in here hungry."
Jones, who describes himself as a hard-working defensive forward, wants to show the Golden Knights that the investment that made in him with that 189th pick has yielded strong returns. The best way to do that in McCrimmon's eyes is to focus on the core values of the organization.
"The best advice you can ever give a young player in a situation like this is to watch these older guys," said McCrimmon. "That's one of the reasons we put a real premium on good people with high character. We want that to work its way down the organization."