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Updating Knights’ roster: Who could still make the team?

The Golden Knights who are left in training camp can fit in one locker room.

The Knights had to spread things out at City National Arena the first three days when 67 players were part of the initial roster. The team has whittled things down enough to where that’s no longer necessary.

Fourteen forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders took part in the Knights’ Monday practice, their first since their annual trip to owner Bill Foley’s Montana ranch.

The bulk of the roster is set. Only a few training camp battles remain, with three preseason games left to sort them out before the Knights determine who they’re bringing to their Oct. 11 opener in Los Angeles.

“There’s only so many spots, and the guys we’ve kept have been there and done it longer,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They’re a little bit ahead, and that’s why they’re still here.”

The Knights have three forwards left fighting for jobs.

Left wing Paul Cotter, center Jake Leschyshyn and right wing Jonas Rondbjerg all played in the NHL last season and are no longer waiver exempt. That means the other 31 teams will get a chance to claim them if they don’t break camp with the Knights.

They’ve all played in the first four preseason games to make sure the team gets a full evaluation. Cotter, in particular, has impressed with three points, eight shots and 18 hits.

He skated on the fourth line for the second straight practice Monday with left wing William Carrier out with a mid-body injury. Cassidy said Carrier wouldn’t rejoin the Knights until later in the week at the earliest.

“(Cotter’s) been himself every night,” Cassidy said. “When we’ve walked away from every game, he’s been good if not better than good for us.”

The blue line has two players competing with six NHL veterans. Defenseman Nic Hague remains absent because the restricted free agent doesn’t have a new contract with the Knights.

Prospect Kaedan Korczak, 21, impressed enough at development camp, rookie camp and now training camp to earn an invitation to Montana and the main locker room. The 2019 second-round pick made his NHL debut Feb. 1 against Buffalo and appears in line for more games this season.

“This last weekend (in Montana), I felt like I was closer to the team,” Korczak said. “I’m feeling good about (things) heading into the final week here.”

Korczak’s partner on the Knights’ fourth defensive pair Monday was 28-year-old Jake Bischoff, who hasn’t appeared in a game since March 27, 2021, because of a knee injury. Bischoff was an expansion-draft acquisition by the Knights and appeared in four games in 2019. He signed an American Hockey League contract July 14, so he’s not an option for the big club unless he gets a new deal.

“My knee hadn’t really had any tests like it’s had so far in camp,” Bischoff said. “It’s holding up well, so that’s really encouraging.”

The only two goaltenders left with the Knights are Logan Thompson and Adin Hill. Michael Hutchinson, who started the team’s first preseason game, cleared waivers to join Silver Knights camp. Goaltender Laurent Brossoit is skating after undergoing offseason hip surgery but isn’t ready to practice with the Golden Knights yet.

That leaves the NHL club with only a few questions left to answer before setting its 23-player maximum opening-night roster. The Knights can narrow their focus this final week into making sure they’ll be ready for the games that count.

“Even competing against one another can help players get ready as opposed to maybe American League guys who are still learning or maybe junior guys who might be in awe,” Cassidy said. “That’s what this group will be used for.”

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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