As a team with an extremely limited prospect pool (six), and only one draft under our belts, the Knights were not overly optimistic at our chances of representation at the World Junior Classic in Vancouver and Victoria.
Vegas has sent a third of their prospect pool to the tournament, one forward and one defenceman. Representing the United States of America, with no points in four games thus far, is centre Jack Drury. A second round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), he currently has 12 points (4 goals) in 11 games with Harvard University (NCAA). The Knights are not discouraged by his lack of production at the tournament, acknowledging that he doesn’t possess any truly dynamic part to his game, and his whole is greater than the sum of his parts. Regardless of his production - although he had 65 points (24 goals) in 56 games last year with Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League, leading the league in both powerplay goals and powerplay assists - he gets to a good top speed, sees the ice well and demonstrates sound hockey intelligence.
The second (and final) individual representing the Knights is Swedish defenceman Adam Ginning, pointless in three games so far. Another second round pick, this time by the Flyers (NHL), Ginning has four points (one goal) in 25 games, playing for Linkoping HC in the Swedish Hockey League. Similar to Drury, the Knights aren’t at all discouraged by his perceived lack of production, as his impact and ability to influence games rarely shows up on the scoresheet. At 6’3”, Ginning is a very big young man who skates quite well for his size, and uses his big frame exceptionally in his own end. His positioning is advanced, and he can control a gap with the best of them. Not just big, he is strong and once he gets in on the hands of an opposing forward, he does well in shutting down the rush.
The ceiling is high for Vegas’ prospects, and it won’t be long before they have an opportunity to make an impact in the NEFHL.