Jake Leschyshyn has been with the Golden Knights from the start.
The fifth-ever NHL draftee selected by the team in 2017 has learned the ropes over the past three years and said he's ready to take on more leadership responsibilities with the team. Leschyshyn is part of a Vegas Born prospect pool and he wants to take the next step as a professional hockey player.
"I remember being one of the first-year guys at camp and really looking up to older guys," said Leschyshyn at the Vegas Golden Knights 2019 development camp. "I think now that I'm in that position I've got to take advantage of it."
Given the season he had last year, Leschyshyn is well-equipped to give advice to his younger teammates. He started out the season with the WHL's Regina Pats but was traded in November to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
"That was something I learned a lot from. I knew at some point that a trade might happen in my year, and at some point in my career, so I'm lucky it happened now because now I know how to deal with it," said Leschyshyn. "If it ever happens in the future, I'll be comfortable with it. It was good to go and see a new city and become a part of a new team."
While with the Pats, he collected 32 points (16 G, 16 A) in 24 games. He finished out the regular season with an additional 49 points (24 G, 25 A) with the Hurricanes. In seven playoff games, he notched another 10 points (6 G, 4 A).
"That new group really pushed me to become better, I think," said Leschyshyn. "There's a lot of good players on that team and great coaches. I was very fortunate."
With his WHL season in the history books, Leschyshyn boarded a plane destined for Chicago, where he met up with Wolves teammates Nic Hague, Cody Glass, Ben Jones and Jake Bischoff for playoffs. While he didn't tally any points, he got the invaluable experience of two AHL playoff games under his belt.
"It was good. I finished the year off there and I was fortunate to get a few games in. I was happy with how things went," said Leschyshyn. "They're a great group of guys there and it's unfortunate that we lost in the finals, but the team played the best they could and nobody left any regrets."