Cotter then discovers that he has received the call across the hall to the Golden Knight’s main locker room.
“I went into the other room first, and couldn’t find my name. So I said, ‘Oh my God, am I in the big room?'” said Kotter, who was told by teammate Jonas Rundberg that he, Rundberg and Jake Lischen were all in the “big room” with the rest of the NHL players in City National.
“I think this is the first year I’ve really seen an opening. It’s exciting, it’s great, and being in this room is a real big step forward,” Cotter added.
Silver Strike Time
The trio of Cotter, Rondbjerg, and Leschyshyn have been linked together for a while. Last season, the three were the primary summons from the Silver Knights who played games for VGK. The three have been playing with each other for four seasons now and are on the same streak together at a training camp.
“We all have good chances. We’ve been with each other for four years. We know the situation and we’ve been good with it. We know we’re competing with each other, but at the same time, we’re great buds. It’s definitely a great opportunity,” Kotter said.
Cotter, a 2018 Golden Knights draft pick, saw the fewest games of these three last season but made an impression in a short while. He scored two goals in his first seven games in the National Hockey League.
The 2017 draft chose Rondberg and Leschen saw more games, with Rondberg playing at 30 and Leschen at 41. Naturally, the two developed some chemistry at both the NHL and AHL level.
“I played with Jonas in probably every game last year, whether it was in Henderson or Vegas. Honestly, it’s no surprise that the three of us were together (on the line at training camp),” Lischen said.
The only thing hovering over the heads of these three players in 2022-23 are concessions. With all three players signing extensions with the Golden Knights over the summer, they have to cancel waivers to be sent to Henderson if they fail to get the team out of training camp.
“I think it will push us a lot more to try and make this team. The three of us know what each other is like, which is a nice thing. It’s exciting that it gives us the advantage of playing with each other. In order to get a place together.”
Leschyshyn, son of former NHLer Curtis, scored six points in the NHL and 27 in the AHL. As a center in the Golden Knights with probably his four positions, Leschyshyn says he’s open to playing any attacking position he puts in the squad.
Winger Rondbjerg is the first Danish-born player in Golden Knight history. It’s similarly matched to Leschyshyn’s total points last season with six points in the NHL and 27 in the AHL.
“I’m fighting for a place, so I’m doing my best to try and get a place in the team…” I’ve learned a lot in the past year getting matches in the National League. Being able to get 30 games last year was a big deal for me. “I’ll take it this season,” said Rundberg.
If there’s ever been a season for one or two or maybe even all of those three players to make up the team, that’s the season. The Golden Knights eliminated some of the key strikers in the off-season, such as Max Pasurietti, Evgeny Dadonov and Matthias Janmark. We can also reasonably expect injuries to reappear.
Based on our projected streak combinations, but Bruce Cassidy’s bootcamp streaks, it looks like there are some open spots in the bottom six. Rondbjerg, Cotter and Leschyshyn will have to battle Michael Amadeo, William Carrier, Keegan Kolesar, Brett Howden and Sakari Manninen for a spot.
“I can play the first and fourth line and kind of anywhere they need it. So if there is a space I can take, I think I am a player who can take any role. So I think that helps in my game against different players, so I hope to sneak into the place,” he added. Kotter.
These three players looked exceptional during two days of training camp. Their pre-season performance will be a huge factor in what comes next in their NHL careers.
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