Knights’ Kolesar draws lofty comparisons for skill, toughness

Updated September 9, 2018 - 5:45 pm

The mere mention of the name Tom Wilson is enough to agitate most of the Golden Knights’ fanbase.

Rocky Thompson, who coaches the Knights’ AHL affiliate in Chicago and is on the bench for the Vegas Rookie Faceoff, wasn’t trying to stir up those emotions when he compared Keegan Kolesar to the polarizing Washington Capitals’ winger.

Kolesar is a big, imposing forward who can offer protection to his more finesse-oriented teammates while also possessing enough skill to be a factor offensively.

Thompson believes he can grow into similar player as Wilson, though he acknowledges it’s a lofty standard.

“Tom Wilson is extremely talented and fast, but he’s a guy who can play in all areas of your lineup and that’s what I can do with Keegan right now,” said Thompson, who coached Kolesar with the Wolves last year. “He’s made that step at the AHL level where I can move him up to our top line.

”He just needs to pick up the pace of his game and continue to get faster in order to make that jump at the next level.”

Now in his fourth rookie camp and second with the Knights, Kolesar hopes the strides he has made over the last year are enough. He understands roster spots are limited, but plans to make his case once training camp opens next week.

The 21-year-old Winnipeg, Manitoba native, who is 6-foot-2-inches and 230 pounds, started making his case with a goal in the Knights’ 7-6 win over the Avalanche in the first game of the event on Saturday night.

He knows a major part of his job will be to serve as a physical presence. That point was driven home when he was placed on the first line alongside top prospects Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki on Saturday night.

Kolesar wants to make clear he’s not just an enforcer, however. He cut down his penalty minutes to 56 in 64 combined games between the ECHL and AHL last year after averaging 104 minutes in his last two seasons in the WHL.

He added 29 total points.

“I think to be an NHL player, you have to be a jack of all trades,” said Kolesar, who was acquired in a draft day trade with Columbus in 2017. “If one thing stands out more than others, it’s awesome. I think I have a nice arsenal of skills and abilities that can get me to where I need to be in my career.”

Glass is certainly excited about the chance to play with his fellow Winnipeg native.

“He’s a big guy,” the 2017 first-round pick said. “So not only does he add some skill, but he gives you that size for me and (Suzuki) to have more space to play. It’s a lot of fun playing with him. I have a good time with him.

“We don’t really talk about the future, but I think it’s obviously in the back of our heads. It’s awesome that we’re both in Vegas and a part of a great organization. Being able to play with a guy like that helps a lot. I’m looking forward to the future here.”

As for the Wilson comparison, Kolesar believes it makes sense.

“It’s funny because I was just looking at some videos of Tom Wilson and I watched him closely in the playoffs,” Kolesar said. “He’s a real presence on the ice playing with the two of the most talented players in the world and he fits right in.

“I see myself as a power forward. I want to crash and bang and make a presence with my physicality, plus I think I have a pretty good shot so I want to shoot it as much as I can and get to the net and create havoc as much as I can.”

That would certainly help punch his ticket to Las Vegas.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 25, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3, but re-sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio while Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena on the Knights preseason game vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3 but Re-Sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile arena on the Knights preseason game vs the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Rally To Win During Shootout
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights shootout win against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Third Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen go over the Knights 7-2 win over the L.A. Kings.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Golden Edge: Vegas Fans Show their Love at Fan Fest
Bryan Salmond is on the red carpet at the downtown Las Vegas Events Center as the 2018-2019 Golden Knights show up for Fan Fest.
Golden Edge: Knights Back From Colorado
Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz talk about Knights preseason training camp and how Max Pacioretty is fitting in with the Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 17, 2018
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Win First Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, David Schoen, Ben Gotz and Adam hill recap the Golden Knights first preseason game win against the Arizona Coyotes.
Golden Edge: First Practice
Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss the first day of practice for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Presser Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty speaks about his first impressions coming to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights' fans about recent roster changes.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rookies Faceoff Against The Sharks Good
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond breaks down the 5-4 loss the Golden Knights rookies had against the San Jose Sharks.
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Rides With Kurt Busch
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond heads to city national arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Kurt Busch attempt to learn how to play hockey, and Deryk Engelland hop in a race car.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
Golden Edge: Floor Hockey Clinic
Bryan Salmond travels to the Paradise Recreational Center for the Las Vegas Golden Knights floor hockey clinic with special guest Golden Knights defenseman and Mark Messier Leadership Award winner Deryk Engelland.
Golden Edge: Off Season Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights free angency and signing Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury on his three-year extension: To stay in Vegas a long time was big
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he's glad he'll be a part of the team for a long time. Fleury spoke about signing a three-year contract extension at a news conference at the City National Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Thursday, July 5
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Golden Edge: Free Agency Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen go over the latest free agency news from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Knights Host Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights second day of scrimmage at City National Arena.
Golden Edge: Prospects Prepare For Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights getting ready to participate in a scrimmage for the next few days.
Golden Edge: Previous Prospects Fight For Spot
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over day two of the Golden Knights development camp.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like