Top prospects for Vegas Golden Knights

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NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, the top five prospects for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to NHL.com.

 

[Golden Knights 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]

 

1. Cody Glass, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Vegas (NHL): 39 GP, 5-7-12; Chicago (AHL): 2 GP, 1-1-2

Glass, the first NHL Draft pick in Vegas history, made a solid impression as a 20-year-old rookie last season.

“He has the ultimate hockey tool, and that’s hockey IQ and knowing where to be on the ice,” Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty said. “He’s a lot of fun to play with. He’s the future of this team.”

Now 21, Glass is expected to be ready for training camp after battling injuries: a concussion Dec. 8 and a knee injury Jan. 4 in the NHL, and a knee injury Feb. 20 in the American Hockey League that required season-ending surgery.

Though he wasn’t ready to join the Golden Knights for the postseason, the center (6-foot-2, 192 pounds) used his rehab time to work on his strength. 

“We have really high hopes for a guy like Cody Glass, that he’s going to develop into a really good offensive player at the NHL level,” Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: PHI@VGK: Glass buries wrist shot from one knee

 

2. Peyton Krebs, F

How acquired: Selected No. 17 in 2019 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Winnipeg (WHL): 38 GP, 12-48-60

The Golden Knights were thrilled when Krebs fell to them in the 2019 draft. President of hockey operations George McPhee, then the GM, told NHL Network at the time that the center probably would have gone in the top 10 had he not partially torn an Achilles tendon in an on-ice training session June 4, 2019.

Krebs (5-11, 180) had surgery three days after the injury and hobbled onstage at the draft in Vancouver. He came back last season and scored 1.58 points per game.

The 19-year-old prides himself on playing a 200-foot game like centers Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings (2016, 2018) and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks (2013), who each has been voted the Selke Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: 31 in 31: Vegas Golden Knights 2020-21 season preview

 

3. Zach Whitecloud, D

How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent March 8, 2018

2019-20 season: Vegas (NHL): 16 GP, 0-1-1; Chicago (AHL): 35 GP, 2-5-7

When Peter DeBoer replaced Gerard Gallant as Vegas coach Jan. 15, he gave the personnel a fresh look. Whitecloud (6-2, 209) was one of the biggest beneficiaries. 

After playing one NHL game before DeBoer’s arrival, late in the 2017-18 season following his career at Bemidji State, Whitecloud took a spot in the lineup from veteran Deryk Engelland and played 16 games down the stretch and 20 games in the postseason. 

“I love the fact that we’ve had a young guy like Zach Whitecloud come in,” McCrimmon said of the 24-year-old. “We couldn’t give him enough. He never faltered. He never failed. He met every challenge. He’s established himself as a really good NHL defenseman. So I think that’s really encouraging.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

4. Nicolas Hague, D

How acquired: Selected No. 34 in 2017 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Vegas (NHL) 38 GP, 1-10-11; Chicago (AHL): 21 GP, 1-9-10

Like Glass and Whitecloud, Hague is just under the threshold of NHL games played (40 or fewer) to be considered a prospect by NHL.com. 

Along with Whitecloud, the 22-year-old (6-6, 221) is a reason the Golden Knights declined to offer Engelland another contract.

Hague scored 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 75 regular-season games and 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games in 2018-19 before splitting last season between the NHL and AHL.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: VGK@BOS: Hague nets one-timer for first NHL goal

 

5. Dylan Coghlan, D

How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent Sept. 20, 2017

2019-20 season: Chicago (AHL): 60 GP, 11-13-24

Coghlan (6-2, 190) has played two seasons in the AHL after signing out of Tri-City of the Western Hockey League. He scored 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 66 games in 2018-19, his first pro season.

Along with Whitecloud and Hague, the 22-year-old gives Vegas impressive depth in terms of defenseman prospects.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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