98°F
weather icon Clear

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.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Kelly McCrimmon Gets Promoted to Golden Knight General Manager - Video
The Vegas Golden Knights have announced that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to General Manager of the team, effective September 1, 2019. Regarding his new role, McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the NHL's General Managers Meetings and will be the point of contact for other league GMs.
Golden Knights Say an "Awful Call" Cost Them the Series - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault believe that an "awful call" by the officials cost them game 7.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 7 at T-Mobile - VIDEO
Golden Knights went through a roller coaster in game 7 which lead to the Knights loss 5-4 in overtime.
Sharks & Golden Knights fans fired up for Game 7
Ahead of Game 7 in San Jose, Sharks and Golden Knights fans get hyped for the game in the fan zone at SAP Center.
Golden Knights prepare for Game 7 in San Jose - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knigths players and the head coach talk about their mindset ahead of facing the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 on the road at the SAP Center. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Knights' Gallant Calls DeBoer a "clown" - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant calls Sharks coach Pete DeBoer a "clown" and says his comments are a little "unclassy" for him in response to being called the master chirper for the Knights. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
UNLV’s Tony Sanchez embraces new Fertitta Football Complex

Already, the new UNLV football complex has paid off with several commitments for the 2020 recruiting class, pledges from the sorts of players who likely would have never considered the Rebels if not for such dedication to an on-campus facility.