Kaedan Korczak moved from the prairies of Saskatchewan to play junior hockey in picturesque Kelowna, British Columbia. The defenseman was never the same.
“That was a big change,” he said. “But now I’m kind of used to the Kelowna lifestyle, so it’s hard to go back to Saskatchewan.”
Wait till the Golden Knights’ second-round pick spends a few days in Las Vegas.
Korczak and the majority of the club’s prospects will be in town this week for development camp, which begins at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday and concludes Saturday at City National Arena.
All of the team’s selections from the 2019 draft are scheduled to attend, including first-round pick Peyton Krebs. The No. 17 overall selection will not participate after undergoing surgery for a partially torn Achilles tendon prior to the draft.
“I’ve never been (to Las Vegas),” Korczak said. “My parents have been to a couple games and they say it’s electric every game, so I’m pretty excited.”
Cody Glass, the team’s first pick in the 2017 draft, highlights the roster of 43 players and will be watched closely. The 20-year-old center debuted in the American Hockey League this spring and helped Chicago reach the Calder Cup Final.
Glass will be joined by defensemen Dylan Coghlan and Nicolas Hague, his teammates with the Wolves.
The camp also will mark the first appearance in Vegas for defenseman Slava Demin, a 2018 fourth-round pick and sophomore-to-be at the University of Denver.
In all, 22 of the 25 draft picks who remain under the Knights’ control are scheduled to skate. Aside from Krebs, the only picks who won’t be there are 2018 second-round pick Ivan Morozov and 2018 fourth-rounder Paul Cotter.
“Beautiful place to play,” said goaltender Isaiah Saville, one of three fifth-round picks last weekend. “My parents went to the inaugural season home opener and they said the atmosphere was incredible. I’m really excited to be a part of this organization.”
Last season, defenseman Jimmy Schuldt was invited to development camp and eventually signed as a free agent with the Knights following his senior season with St. Cloud State.
Massachusettes rising junior forward Mitchell Chaffee appears to be the top college free agent in attendance this time.
Chaffee won the Hockey East scoring title and helped the Minutemen to the national title game, though UMass coach Greg Carvel said after the loss that Chaffee needs to work on his conditioning and skating.
Physical forward Jermaine Loewen, the first player from Jamaica to be drafted in the NHL, is one of the most intriguing participants. He was selected by Dallas in the seventh round in 2018 but was not signed to a contract after completing his junior career with Kamloops (WHL).
Other undrafted players to watch include 19-year-old defenseman Brayden Pachal, who was passed over in the draft for the second time despite posting 51 points and an eye-popping plus-76 rating for Western Hockey League champion Prince Albert.
German forward Taro Jentzsch and Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) forward Cole MacKay showed in juniors, and prep defenseman Michael Vorlicky is part of a highly rated recruiting class at Wisconsin.
“I heard it’s a great place,” said defenseman Layton Ahac, one of two third-round selections this year. “I heard it’s really warm, and I know they got a great team. They had a great playoff run their first year, and I’m excited to join them.”
Golden Knights development camp schedule
Team Grey Practice, 2:15 p.m.
Team White Practice, 4:15 p.m.
Team White Practice, 9:15 a.m.
Team Grey Practice, 11:30 a.m.
Team White Practice, 3 p.m.
Team Grey Practice, 5:15 p.m.
Team White Practice, 9:15 a.m.
Team Grey Practice, 11:15 a.m.
Joint Scrimmage, 4 p.m. (Ticket required)
Joint Scrimmage, 10 a.m. (Ticket required)
Joint Scrimmage, 9:15 a.m.
Golden Knights development camp roster