Alex Tuch tutors teammates while chasing NHL dream with Golden Knights

Updated June 30, 2017 - 9:49 pm

Alex Tuch has been as much tutor as teammate this week, as much counselor as competitor. He didn’t have to be here. He wasn’t required to spend five days at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

But while most participating in the Golden Knights’ development camp understand theirs is a hockey journey that will continue next season outside an NHL roster, Tuch believes he can be with the expansion team on opening night in Dallas.

That’s part of the reason he chose to play this week.

The other part is about everyone else.

“I want to show management I’ve already improved this summer, but I also wanted to come in and be a leader to all the young guys,” Tuch said. “This is my fourth development camp. These kids are eyes wide, mouth open, really nice kids. Free agents, draft picks, just a lot of young guys that I wanted to be here to help.”

Young guys. Kids.

Tuch, by the way, is 21.

That’s the way things go in hockey — you grow up fast.

“He’s a pro, a guy that showed a lot of character phoning and saying, ‘I’d like to come to camp and meet some of these players,’ ” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “He looks real big and real good out there.”

Tuch is here via an expansion draft trade with Minnesota, when the Knights agreed to steer clear of certain players for the Wild, made center Erik Haula their choice and also received a top prospect in Tuch.

It takes, oh, a few shifts into a scrimmage like the one the Knights held the past few days and will end camp with on Saturday to understand where the truly skilled players reside.

Draft picks and guys such as Tuch, who spent most of last season with Iowa in the American Hockey League before playing six games with the Wild, tend to stand out.

They just look like they belong.

Anyone with the ability to score probably will get an opportunity to challenge for a roster spot in training camp, given there is a good chance the Knights will find themselves starving for goals most nights when the season begins.

Put it this way: You’re apt to see a lot of 3-1 scores, and you can guess which team most think will have the 1.

In the 6-foot-4-inch Tuch, you have a former first-round draft pick who managed 37 points in 57 games with Iowa, a right wing who played at Boston College and spent two years training with the U.S. national team development program.

He’s at a part of the process often toughest to solve, standing in front of a safe that could unlock a full-time NHL career and yet not in possession of the last few digits of the combination.

Which is one reason he hasn’t let up on the kids this week.

“As soon as it comes down to the ice and things like a scrimmage, it’s time to go,” Tuch said. “I’m not going to take it easy on anyone. I don’t care how old they are, how big they are, that’s another thing young guys have to learn.

“It helped me the last few years, and it will help them. Guys never took it easy on me. They went hard at me. They knew I was a first-round pick who was coming up and could possibly take their spot in the near future. You want to make it as hard as you can on guys. They’re not only going to be your future teammates, hopefully, but also your future competition.”

He admits there would be feelings of serious disappointment if Oct. 6 arrives and, instead of with the Knights in Dallas, he is with the team’s AHL affiliate in Chicago. But there is certainly a chance things will play out that way to begin the season, and all it would mean for Tuch is training harder in search of those final few numbers to the combination.

He thought his chances of making the Wild last season were good and believes even more in the opportunity an expansion team might offer someone so close to unlocking that safe.

How much playing this week will ultimately lead to that conclusion is unknown, but this isn’t: Tuch left a major impact on those players learning what it means to be a pro.

“He has been unbelievable to all of us younger guys,” said Cody Glass, the team’s first-round pick who was chosen sixth overall. “He’s been awesome and makes it easy to be here and be comfortable with yourself.

“A good character guy and someone you want in the dressing room — super outgoing and he treats everyone the same. For a guy like that to come in and be here when he didn’t have to be and really help us is a real mature, character act.”

Said the young, innocent 18-year-old, eyes wide and mouth open, about the old, wise leader at the ancient age of 21.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Gerard Gallant talks before Game 5
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media ahead of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Edge: Knights One Game Away From Series Win
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal reporters Ed Graney and Adam Hill go over the Golden Knights 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gerard Gallant Reacts To Game Four Win Against Jets
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant reacts to the Golden Knights game four win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Golden Knights On Game Four Win Against Winnipeg
Golden Knights players react to their game four win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Tomas Nosek On First Playoff Goal
Golden Knights Forward Tomas Nosek talks about his first playoff goal.
Golden Knights On Game Three Against Winnipeg
The Golden Knights react to their game three win against Winnipeg at home.
Golden Knights' Cody Eakin On Preparing For Game Four
Golden Knights Forward Cody Eakin talks about preparation for game four against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gerard Gallant Talks About Eakin, Game Four Pressure
Gerard Gallant goes over the Golden Knights preparing for game four against the Winnipeg Jets.
Golden Knights’ Fleury tickles Wheeler’s ear during Game 3 scrum
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury tickled Jets' Blake Wheeler during a scrum in Game 3. The scrum occured behind Vegas’ net with 2:34 left in the second period of the Golden Knights’ 4-2 victory over Winnipeg on Wednesday night Wheeler, whose helmet was off and had his back to the goalie, somehow seemed unfazed. The Golden Knights lead the Western Conference final series 2-1, and host Game 4 on Friday night.
Golden Edge: Knights, Fleury step up in Game 3
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Adam Hill break down the Golden Knights 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, including a pair of big performances from Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal.
Gerard Gallant talks about Game 3 win
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knights' 4-2 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Knights talk about 4-2 win in Game 3
Alex Tuch, Erik Haula and Marc-Andre Fleury talk about the Golden Knights' win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
James Neal talks after his 2-point performance in Game 3
James Neal talks about Game 3 in which he had a goal and an assist.
Golden Knights talk about what they're hoping for in Game 3
Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Brayden McNabb and Marc-Andre Fleury discuss what they learned from the first two games of the series as well as what they're hoping for in Game 3.
Golden Edge: Knights know they must start fast in Game 3
Zac Pacleb talked to the Golden Knights after they returned from Winnipeg ready for a quick start in Game 3.
Gerard Gallant talks after optional skate
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about his assessments from the first two games of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Knights talk about Game 2 win
Jonathan Marchessault, Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal talk about the team's 3-1 win in Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about his team's Game 2 win
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media after the team's 3-1 win.
Golden Edge: Knights tie the series with a Game 2 win
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Adam Hill recap the Golden Knights 3-1 win in Winnipeg.
Voices of Golden Knights players welcome visitors at McCarran airport
Four Golden Knights players will start delivering recorded messages this week as part of the “Voices of Vegas” program at McCarran International Airport.
Knights players discuss changes heading into game 2 against Winnipeg
Erik Haula, James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault discuss what changes need to happen in order for the Knights to tie the series with Winnipeg.
Gerard Gallant on game 2 against Winnipeg
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about what Knights need to improve on heading into game two against Winnipeg.
Gerard Gallant and Deryk Engelland talk about Game 1
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and defenseman Deryk Engelland discuss the Golden Knights' loss to the Jets in Game 1.
Golden Edge: Knights fall to the Jets in Game 1
Bryan Salmond, Adam Hill and Ed Graney discuss the Golden Knights flat start in the Western Conference Finals.
Winnipeg Jets On Game Seven Win Against Predators
The Winnipeg Jets react to their 5-1 win against the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge: Knights Will Play Jets In Western Conference Finals
Review-Journal reporter Adam Hill goes over the Winnipeg Jets win over the Nashville Predators. The Golden Knights will now play the Jets in Winnipeg on Saturday.
Golden Edge: One-on-one With Bellemare
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond interviews Pierre-Edouard Bellemare about his favorite food and how to make it into the NHL.
Golden Edge: Knights waiting for conference finals opponent
Bryan Salmond, David Schoen and Steve Carp break down the potential matchups for the Golden Knights in the conference finals.
Players talk about waiting for the Western Conference Finals
Marc-Andre Fleury, Alex Tuch, Colin Miller and Shea Theodore discuss the upcoming Western Conference Finals.
Gerard Gallant talks about the Western Conference Finals
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the series between Winnipeg and Nashville as well as how his team is preparing for the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Knights Fans React To Team And The Arsenal
Golden Knights fans react to City National Arena's The Arsenal store and how the team has effected Vegas.
Golden Knights On What To Expect From Western Conference Finals
Golden Knights players talk about what to expect from the Western Conference finals and the playoffs.
Station Casinos offers free wagers on Golden Knights to win Cup
Station Casinos will offer free bets on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup. The locals casino company announced a promotion offering free wagers ranging from $5 to $250 on the team who wins hockey’s most coveted trophy. Thousands of invited holders of Station’s Boarding Pass loyalty card will receive an offer by mail to swipe their cards Monday at kiosks at seven properties. A winning ticket could cash for up to $1,000. The Golden Knights are now the 4-1 co-favorites with the Nashville Predators to claim the NHL championship.
Vanderburg Elementary cheers on the Golden Knights with mascot Chance, Golden Aces cheerleaders
Students at Vanderburg Elementary wrote an original song for a #KnightUp contest from the Vegas Golden Knights. They won the contest and hosted Knights mascot Chance and the Golden Aces cheerleaders for a pep rally. Over 300 students came together to cheer on the Knights as they head into their fourth playoff game.
Golden Knights use fitness to grab 2-0 series lead
A day after beating the Kings 2-0 in double overtime, Golden Knights players credited their conditioning. "Your body is tired, but your mind is still racing," said forward Reilly Smith. "The crowd was unbelievable." A season-high gathering of 18,588 at T-Mobile Arena helped inspire the Knights to victory. "This is why we put in so much extra work all summer long," said defenseman Jon Merrill. "For a game like that." The series continues with Game 3 at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Knights success far exceeds LVCVA's tourism goals
Several months ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority set out to market the city as the sports capital of the world. With the addition of the Golden Knights and the Raiders, LVCVA saw the perfect opportunity to do so. The Knights' success and current Stanley Cup playoff run has resulted in a marketing marriage with Las Vegas that has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined. This season, the Knights have managed to unite the community and made hockey fans around the country take notice. “The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we’re the sports capital of the world, not only what they’ve done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together." Lisa Motley, director of sports marketing and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Professional sports have been a staple for Las Vegas for decades with championship boxing matches, PGA golf tour events and the National Finals Rodeo. But big-league teams kept their distance from Nevada, due to lingering fears of sports betting somehow influencing games. "Las Vegas stands for something much more extensive and expansive now than what it once did" David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute
Smith Glad To Be Back In Lineup
The Golden Knights forward missed 15 games with an upper-body injury, (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hunt Said Buses Are Where Hockey Team Unity Gets Fostered
The Golden Knights defenseman was fortunate to have avoided any accidents while riding the bus in his hockey career. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Saskatchewan Native Brayden McNabb On The Humboldt Bus Tragedy
The Golden Knights defenseman knows the area well where the junior hockey team’s bus collided with a truck Friday and left 14 people dead. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims. On a night when the Golden Knights were looking to lock up the Pacific Division title and secure a championship banner, the team unveiled a banner of its own Saturday. The banner honors the 58 victims of the Oct. 1 Strip shooting. Knights majority owner and chairman Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee also were on the ice, along with the family of shooting victim Neysa Tonks.
Golden Knights playoff tickets go on sale Monday
The Golden Knights clinched a playoff spot Monday night, and now officials are revealing how fans can get tickets. The hottest tickets in town are going on sale Monday morning on the Golden Knights website. There will be less than 1,000 tickets made available for public sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets will only be sold on a single-game basis. Are you planning to go to any Golden Knights playoff games?
Fleury notches milestone as Golden Knights stun Flyers 3-2
Marc-Andre Fleury became just the 13th goalie to reach 400 wins in his NHL career. Fleury stopped 38 shots and led the Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night. Others in the 400-win club are Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and current contemporaries Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist. “It’s a nice number to reach and all the guys in front of me I have great respect for and it’s cool to be part of that list,” Fleury said. Fleury played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, before being picked by the Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft.
Rookie Whitecloud Anxious To Learn About Life In Nhl
The former Bemidji State defenseman was in Buffalo Saturday but did not play for the Knights vs. the Sabres. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Merrill glad to be back in Newark
The Golden Knights defenseman had played for the New Jersey Devils before joining the Knights. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
Vegas Golden Knights, US Army look to settle trademark dispute
The Golden Knights are looking to settle their trademark dispute with the U.S. Army. Both sides have been in a trademark dispute over the name “Golden Knights” and the primary colors of gray, gold and black. The Army says the hockey team’s use of Golden Knights as a trademark causes confusion with its parachute team. They are also known as the Golden Knights. The Army filed its complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 10. The Golden Knights filed a settlement motion with the patent office’s trademark trial and appeal board on Jan. 25. The motion gives the team 90 days to resolve issues with the Army. “We’re trying to form a joint use agreement where both sides can continue to have their name."
Golden Knights forecheck
At first glance, the Knights’ 1-2-2 forecheck doesn't look unusual. But it’s the aggression the Knights use that makes their forecheck unique. “They’re a tenacious team." - Flyers coach Dave Hakstol The Knights are second in the NHL with 642 takeaways. “I think it’s a good indicator when we’re playing well is when our forecheck is going.” - center Erik Haula
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like