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Tag: Zach Whitecloud


Reinforcements are on the way for the Golden Knights who have recently become a bit thin on the blue line. Zach Whitecloud, an undrafted free agent defenseman from Bemidji State University, has signed an entry-level contract with the Golden Knights.

He’s a very well-rounded player. A highly sought-after defenseman by a lot of clubs and we are delighted to acquire him as our first college signing. It should be a very good fit for the Vegas Golden Knights. -George McPhee

As mentioned in our previous article, Whitecloud is a well-rounded defenseman that’s been described as having “no deficiencies.”

He’s got a good, balanced skillset, has good depth to his game, good size, good puck skills, shoots the puck extremely well, and he’s a good defender. Zach Whitecloud’s biggest strength is probably that he has no deficiencies. If you want to sit there and analyze every shift, he’s doing something different every shift. That, to me, is a sign of a pretty good defenseman. -Tom Serratore, Bemidji State coach

He’s a mobile defenseman. He moves the puck real well and he’s a safe player right now. We think he plays conservatively and we believe he can give us a lot more offensively. He has lots of room for growth. He’s good and safe and conservative. He’ll build the offensive in his game. -McPhee

Whitecloud is expected to join the Golden Knights in Buffalo on Saturday. Nate Schmidt is also supposed to join the team and play in that game, so we are unsure of when (or if) Whitecloud will make his NHL debut.

Three Undrafted College Free Agents That Should Be On VGK’s Radar

Many college hockey programs finished their seasons this week, which means it’s entry-level contract time and all NCAA players are free to sign pro-level contracts. In most cases the player would sign with the team that drafted him and team get assigned to an AHL affiliate. When it comes to undrafted players, they have the option to sign with any team that makes an offer. Just take a look at what Pittsburgh does every March.

Hey you two, don’t forget about the NCAA guys! (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Penguins never back away from NCAA players in the draft and on the free agent market. Last season, Pittsburgh signed coveted Northeastern University forward Zach Aston-Reese. He was immediately sent to the AHL but was given the opportunity to play this season, totaling 6 points (4G, 2A) in 10 games before he got hurt last month. They did the same with Connor Sheary after his senior season at UMass-Amhert wrapped up in 2014. See Thomas Di Pauli and Ethan Prow for a couple more examples.

We suggested this last year, and it didn’t happen, but that’s not going to stop us from suggesting it once again this season.

Here are a few defenseman that could help the Golden Knights organizational depth. Remember, Vegas splits an AHL team and they need more bodies in the system.

Mattias Goransson: UMass-Lowell
22-years-old/6’3/Left Defenseman

If Vegas is concerned about the lack of depth on the blue line, they could target the highly skilled Goransson. The Swede is effective shutting down forwards, moving the puck and starting rushes. Mostly he’s a stay at home defenseman, and scouts rave about Goransson’s gap control. Opposing players mention how aware they were of his presence on the ice. At 6’3, Goransson has NHL blueline size combined with NHL skill. If I were ever a GM, I’d take a risk on any Swedish defenseman.

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