Main camp has only just started for the Vegas Golden Knights, with the team taking the ice against the Colorado Avalanche for the second game of preseason today. After a productive rookie camp, forward Patrick Guay is looking ahead to the impact he can make throughout these next few weeks and into his second professional season of hockey.
Guay tallied a timely power-play goal in the final game of the rookie tournament against the Avalanche prospects on September 18. His ability to get to the netfront and score crucial goals like that made an impression on Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Bruce Cassidy.
“I just want to use my shot a lot,” Guay said after the first on-ice day of training camp. “Bruce [Cassidy] talked with me, and he wanted me to get more on the inside and shoot every game. When the head coach says something, you do that as much as you can. So I try and get on the inside, use my shot, and use my feet to get good positioning in the slot.”
His strong rookie camp performance comes after a season of solid offensive production. Guay started last year with the Knights’ ECHL affiliate, the Savannah Ghost Pirates, where he scored 52 points (16G, 36A) in 49 games. He later joined the team’s AHL affiliate in Henderson, where he tallied an additional five points (2G, 3A).
Part of that success has been the footspeed and energy that Guay brings to every shift – enough of it to earn him a new moniker.
“When my head is good and I’m on the ice, I just try and move my feet as much as I can. I’ve been compared a little bit to an Energizer Bunny,” he added. “It’s something I try and bring, good energy, try and create something every shift I’m out there. Obviously when you use your feet to create stuff, good things happen to you, and that’s what I want to do this season.”
Applying these lessons learned in camp to the entire season next year is exactly what the Knights’ coaching and development staffs want to see. Cassidy, as well as Henderson Head Coach Ryan Craig and Director of Player Development Wil Nichol, have reiterated throughout these weeks leading up to the season the importance of developing a lasting professional game.
They’re lessons that Guay has taken to heart.
“For me, it’s playing against bigger bodies,” he said. “They’re not just big, they know how to position themselves, their feet are good, and they have good sticks. So just playing against those guys is really helpful for me, and [teaches me to] use my speed and my intelligence to get to the net and still get shots in. That’s what I want to do with my pro game here.”
“Obviously the way to do that is just working hard. Bringing a good work ethic every day is the most important, especially when you’re with guys who are settled into the NHL. They’re obviously really good, but when you know you get to play with them, it’s always fun.”