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Golden Knights preparing for development camp

Will be first on-ice activity for Vegas; prospects Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom to attend

by Mike Cranston / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant played a minimal role last week in selecting players in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Gallant's role will increase Tuesday when he gets to put those draft picks and other prospects through a five-day development camp that will mark the first on-ice activity for the Golden Knights.

"We're going to get real busy real quick," Gallant said. "We're going to get a look at all those kids."

Gallant was happy to allow general manager George McPhee and his staff to make the roster decisions. Gallant spent the time making promotional appearances, working on rounding out his coaching staff and putting together the schedule for the camp at Las Vegas Ice Center.

"We're going to take them on the ice every day for probably an hour and a half," Gallant said. "We're going to do some testing. We're going to do some drills and skill development stuff. It's going to be a lot of fun and these kids are going to be real excited."

Video: Glass reacts to being chosen 6th overall

First-round picks, centers Cody Glass (No. 6) and Nick Suzuki (No. 13), and defenseman Erik Brannstrom (No. 15) will garner most of the attention during camp, which ends with a scrimmage Saturday.

"I played against Suzuki all year, and I don't think there's too many guys who are better with the puck than he is," said 6-foot-6 defenseman Nicolas Hague, who was selected by Vegas in the second round (No. 34) and will also participate in camp. "Brannstrom, I don't really know that well, just because I've only really played against him at the international tournaments. Glass, obviously an unbelievable player as well.

"It's a real young future, a real great future here that we're building in Vegas and it's something that I'm excited to be a part of."

Also looking to make an impact is the first player in Vegas history. Forward Reid Duke, 21, was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract in March. He was the only player on the roster for two months until the Golden Knights signed potential top-line center Vadim Shipachyov in May.

Video: Vegas participated in their first NHL entry draft

"Development camps are usually pretty tough, so that's why I've been training ever since I got back from Chicago playing with the Worlds," Duke said. "They told me to come in in the best shape of my life. It's something I've been focused on. You only get once chance at a first impression, so I'm looking forward to that."

Fans will be able to attend the practices and scrimmages on a first-come, first-serve basis. Prospects will also participate in community events on Tuesday.

"Just seeing the facilities and stuff like that, I think that's going to be amazing," Glass said. "Just being in Vegas. It's a really nice city, I think, and I'm really looking forward to getting started."

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