It's already been a week since the Vegas Golden Knights opened training camp.
Players are beginning to settle in under Coach Bruce Cassidy's new system. Meanwhile, a number of players are still striving to make a case that they belong on this team.
Roster transactions were made on Tuesday, and for now, forward Jake Leschyshyn has proven he has a chance to be a full-time NHL player.
"I guess I feel like I've got a bit more of an opportunity this year, and it's exciting," Leschyshyn told the media ahead of Vegas' preseason game on Wednesday. "[In] past years, I don't know if I would've been fighting for a spot, and this year, I feel like I'm right in the mix. So it's exciting, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Leschyshyn was given his first NHL opportunity last season when he played half a season with the big club. His improvement was partially due to his attempt to become faster on the ice.
"I thought I put an emphasis on trying gaining speed, and that's something I think has helped me improve my game overall," Leschyshyn said. "And even going into this summer, it was something I really tried to put an emphasis on, and I feel comfortable and stronger."
While Leschyshyn continues to show he can play a role on this Golden Knights roster, and he and his fellow teammates are still adjusting to a new system, including how to approach the penalty kill.
"There's a few things that are noticeable," Leschyshyn said. "I feel like it's maybe not as aggressive up top in zone setups, so that's a bit of a change for us; we used to push pretty hard down the wall there and now it's a bit more controlled. So it's a good change I think and just getting comfortable with it."
Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud said that part of adjusting to Cassidy's penalty kill concept is making mistakes.
"We're doing a few different things on the penalty kill that we have to adjust to," Whitecloud said. "And it's not like they're major adjustments, it's just getting that mental framework in, getting the reps in. Obviously making mistakes is part of the game too, right? And I think the more you can see those and sometimes [when] you make those mistakes, the easier it is to learn, and that way, you don't allow them to happen again."
Vegas takes the ice at home on Wednesday night to face the Colorado Avalanche in the team's third game of its preseason.
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