He is building hockey in Vegas. Significant faces like Jagr are good, says the Czech scout

Years ago he studied history and became part of it more than ever. Vojtech Kučera belongs to people who are building a new NHL. “We’re building something that has never been here,” says European Vegas Golden Knights chief of staff. The league has to break the team from next season, but do not expect it to start shedding one name after another. Everything is born. In addition, these things have a Secret label.

The world is small. Vojtech Kučera was scouting for Washington for the summer, but his former boss George McPhee was ravaged in Las Vegas. He now has more responsibility, so sometimes he can not afford to manage the Ice Arena in Prague’s Letňany.It was built by his younger brother, Olympic winner and three times world champion František Kučera. “We’ve talked a bit,” reminds Vojtech, who enters history and as a builder in a different way.

The club already has its own name, but it does not have a player, it still acts like something Non-intangible. Is not it strange to work on something that does not exist yet?
“It does, but at the same time it is very interesting. Getting started from scratch, with a clean shield. We do not have any players, you just have to choose and build the organization. “

How is a new team born?How are preparations going on?
“Once Las Vegas was licensed and became part of the NHL, things started moving. The first step was that George McPhee came as a general manager and started recruiting staff. “

It is especially interesting after so many years that you do not just care about adding up the states for the future, but you know That you have something completely new under your hands?
“We have to build and build the team. Whether it’s through an amateur draft, or via an extension draft. I deal with the first, through the clubs I get young players for the future.Now I was on the road with my direct superior, Scott Luce, Scouting Amateur Director. We focus on juniors, players for entry draft. I’m in charge of this area, I was at the Eighteen Plymouth tournament, then we went to Europe and traveled to Sweden and Finland. “

From the players you will be able to take one of each club, The extension draft will not apply to free agents, players who are the first or second year under the contract. I know it’s not your field, but how do you get the initial conditions? Will not the selection be too limited?
“To some extent yes, but conditions are not bad.And the effort is for the team to be able to compete from the first season. “

What would your ideal set look like?
” I would not like to express my opinion about this. We have a team of professional scouts who map the NHL and lower competitions like AHL. They will also make this decision. I have no such detailed overview of this area. It’s beyond me, my job is in Europe. “

And what about Jaromir Jagr, who likes Vegas? George McPhe once did not go to Washington at the best.How do you see his potential future in Vegas?
“It depends on who is free and how we decide who would be suitable for us. But as I said, this is what other scouts are mapping and the decision will not depend on me either. “But do you think the club will also look for a player who will become a distinctive face for the new team?
“This would add to the new club. Clubs will protect their best players. But if there was someone there, maybe even because of the wage ceiling, then it depends how we decide. Everything will be seen. We do not know how the other teams will react, who they put on the list of protected players or not.It is clear that our scouts have to map all the teams to the last player and have a detailed overview. “

You will not even have a consultative voice when you have previously drafted for Washington players such as Dmitry Orlov or Jakub Crow who might be available?
“I would not claim to have been drafted by myself. But I know the player from Washington, and if anyone asked for my opinion, I’ll tell him. On the other hand, I was more aware of them when they were still in their junior age, their progress and the level I know so well. That’s what our scouts will be more informed about. My main focus is Europe, draft and free players in Europe.I have a little more responsibility now, but team building is in charge of people over me. Our job is to supply the list of Europeans for draft in the right order. With colleagues I’m going through tournaments, but I have nothing at the moment with a widening draft. “

What chance does Las Vegas open to older Europeans who have not been drafted?
” Getting Started. So even for older Europeans from professional competitions there is definitely a better chance to take advantage of us than in a team that has a very strong list and there is little room to get into the team. “

Do you agree That Las Vegas can be a very interesting destination for the player?
“Yes. Just the environment.In addition, there is a lot of interest in hockey when they all have been pleasantly surprised. When I was there in September, a taxi driver took me from the airport to the hotel and started talking about hockey, how great it is that Vegas finally has a professional team. And that he has three sons and they are all big fans and are looking forward to starting a hockey season in Vegas. As early as September, most parts of the sale were sold, so it was able to occupy most of the hall’s capacity, which is excellent. The NHL will be the first major professional competition in the city, plus a beautiful hall, right in the center. “

What order do you have in the draft?
” He will be drawn again, we will go to the lottery as the third.So we can be the first, but we have the third biggest chance that it will be. The last NHL team has the best chance, the second worst second highest and behind us. But it is not a pity that Las Vegas did not start the day before when they were in McDavid with Eichl, or this year when they went to Matthews, Laine or Puljujärvi?

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“Every year, the draft looks different. Some years meet a lot of good players, other years are a bit weaker. The player who is drawn in the first round is expected to play NHL.We’re trying to pick out the ones we suppose to be the best, but the NHL can not be pushed all the way, and they just play a fraction. It can also happen that the player from the first round has a better quality than the same player from the weaker year. The last two years have been very strong, but I believe that even in the next draft we will find quality players who will help us in the future. “