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Tag: Owen Tippett

“Have To Be Able To Skate, First And Foremost”

All eyes tend to be focused on the Expansion Draft, and for good reason, but there’s another draft two days later that will probably be more influential on the long term success of the Golden Knights.

The NHL Entry Draft on June 23rd and 24th in Chicago will be crucial for George McPhee and his staff if they want to stay on track of The Creator’s “playoffs in three, Cup in six” mantra.

Vegas slipped to 6th overall in the first round, but still maintain the 3rd selection in all subsequent rounds. Plus, with the Expansion Draft before the Entry Draft, it’s almost a guarantee the Golden Knights will be on the clock more than just the seven times they are slated for today.

With the benefit of being able to watch players throughout the entire season and the  knowledge of knowing the Golden Knights will pick among the top six, Vegas scouts should have a pretty good idea what type of player they are looking to make the first draft selection in franchise history.

You have to be able to skate, first and foremost, because you have to play at a pace that seems to get higher and higher every season. These young players are making plays at such great speed, so you have to be able to skate. You need to have the sense and feel for the game. It’s that combination of speed, skill and sense, in addition to having a willingness to compete on a nightly basis, that are important. –Scott Luce, Director of Amateur Scouting

Seems obvious, until you take a look at some of the flaws of a few of the top prospects in this year’s Entry Draft.

Gabe Vilardi (C), the Memorial Cup starlet from the Windsor Spitfires, who The Hockey News has ranked as the 3rd overall, admittedly needs to improve his skating.

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Six Mock Drafts, Six Different Players At Pick Number Six

Before we all give up on this year’s draft after that nightmare of a lottery, let’s take a step back and relax. Vegas is still selecting a top ten player. Arizona got screwed and dropped to seventh and look at their optimism.

It might be best for everyone in Vegas to take the Chayka, “oh well, at least this draft kind of sucks” approach, then our expectations won’t be set too high. The Golden Knights organization feels very comfortable with their choice of players at number six.

We scout, we do our work, we do our evaluations. We’ve had the benefit of being an expansion team, we’ve known for some time that we’ll draft in the top six picks. So we have a pool of players that are candidates for our pick. -Kelly McKrimmon, Golden Knights Assistant GM

The hockey world has been down on June’s draft but team execs like McKrimmon feel differently. Maybe the AGM is selling the pick to Vegas fans or he’s not and he’s actually going to be right. With that in mind, let’s look at latest mock drafts and the prospects each one has moving to Summerlin.

NHL.com
VGK selects RW Owen Tippett (Canada – OHL)

With their first draft pick the Golden Knights select the Mississauga (OHL) player some scouts believe is the best goal scorer in the draft. Tippett (6-0, 200) has an NHL-caliber shot and scored 44 goals this season, fifth-most in the OHL. With his outstanding shot and excellent skating ability, scouts have compared him to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel. -Adam Kimmelman, NHL.com

Craig Button TSN:
VGK selects C Michael Rasmussen (Canada – WHL)

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