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Golden Knights Prospect Rankings – February 11th, 2023

As the NHL trade deadline nears, the prospect pool will likely come into the spotlight as the Golden Knights are expected to once again be buyers on or before March 3rd.

The Golden Knights’ prospect pool is one of the shallower in the NHL, but there are still plenty of players capable of making an impact down the road for the big club.

In this update, we have a new #1 skater and a new #1 goalie, three players have graduated out due to NHL experience, and a few familiar names continue slipping down the rankings.

**To view the full SinBin Prospect Rankings including the criteria used to rank the players, click here.**

Recently Removed: Korczak (NHL experience), Cotter (NHL experience), Pachal (NHL experience)


(Photo Credit: Rob Schneidmiller, Ice Time Southwest)

1) Jakub Brabenec (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #102 overall
Age: 19 (September 11, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: 4

It’s been an eventful year for the 19-year-old 4th round pick. After impressing during his time wearing a VGK sweater both in the summer and fall, Brabenec headed back to the QMJHL where he continued producing both goals and assists. He was traded to the Sherbrooke Phoenix where he has picked up his pace even more. But, the most impressive portion of Brabenec’s year was the trip to World Juniors. He was excellent the entire tournament, one of Czechia’s most influential offensive players. He averaged a point per game and made plays against the biggest teams and players in the tournament. He sees the game at the speed necessary to play at the next level.

More on Brabenec
8/16/22 – Ranking: 4 – The fastest riser in the rankings, Brabenec finished off an excellent season in the QMJHL and then impressed at Development Camp. It’s a shame he didn’t go to World Juniors because he could have easily turned heads. There’s really not much to dislike about his game. He’s an excellent passer, he has a knack for being in the right place around the blue paint, and he forechecks with ferocity. He’s definitely not ready for the NHL, maybe not even the AHL, but the future is bright.

2/23/22 – Ranking: 10 – In his first season in North America, Brabenec is lighting it up with one of the league’s best teams. He’s tallied 28 assists in 34 games and added 12 goals too. Plus, he was named to the Czechia team at World Juniors where he looked decent in his appearance. He still has a long way to go as he’s still very young, but the ceiling on Brabenec now is much higher than it was a year ago.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 25 – One of the youngest players in the entire Draft, Brabenec has plenty of time to develop and move up this list. He’s done well internationally but has been underwhelming in the Czech league. He’s expected to be much more of a defensive center than anything else though.


2) Brendan Brisson (F)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 1st Round, #29 overall
Age: 21 (October 22, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: 2

Brisson’s first full year as a professional has not gone the way he and the Golden Knights wished. He’s not scoring at the pace expected for a 1st round pick sniper, and his physical game hasn’t matched the level of the AHL level to this point. 19 points including seven goals simply isn’t good enough in 37 AHL games. He still has the elite shot, and he still has some high-end vision with the puck, but there still needs to be quite a bit of improvement if he wants to become the player the Golden Knights expected when they picked him 29th overall.

More on Brisson
8/16/22 – Ranking: 2 – It would have been great to have seen more out of Brisson at Development Camp. He didn’t score a goal in the scrimmages and aside from his well-known elite one-timer, he didn’t pop as the only 1st round pick on the ice. Often times players aren’t quite themselves in the summer, especially after a long season. So it’s possible he comes into Rookie Camp, lights it up, and claims a spot. But as of right now, he still appears to need some professional seasoning in the AHL.

2/23/22 – Ranking: 1 – Brisson has shot up this chart in large part due to his stellar sophomore season at Michigan but also his inclusion and impact on Team USA at the Olympics. Brisson continues to be dangerous on the power play, and his hockey sense has started to shine through. He’s not afraid to stick his nose into traffic to grab a loose puck and he has a good knack for where loose pucks are going to end up. When chaos happens, Brisson is usually there to clean it up. He continues to look like a bonafide NHL prospect with a ceiling in the top six.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 4 – Brisson had a solid freshman season at Michigan scoring 10 goals and adding 21 points in 24 games. He’s a power play weapon and will continue to be a point producer at the NCAA level this season. However, with Michigan’s stacked lineup, his playing time will be interesting to monitor. Michigan had four of the top five picks in the 2021 Draft and all are expected to be on the roster this year. As a late 1st round pick from the year prior, Brisson should be able to hold down a permanent spot, but we’re definitely going to learn a lot about him as to where coach Mel Pearson has him in that stacked lineup.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 3 – Brisson’s selection to the eventual gold medal-winning Team USA at the World Juniors was incredibly impressive considering how stacked that team was. He offers something unlike anything we’ve seen from a VGK prospect to this point and that’s an unbelievable shot. He loves to sit in the circle on the power play and rip shots past goalies who know it’s coming and still can’t stop it. He definitely has a ways to go in regards to strength and experience and the offensive play can improve in other areas aside from the shot, but there’s no doubt Brisson has an exciting future. 


3) Matyas Sapovaliv (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #48 overall
Age: 18 (February 12, 2004)
Most Recent Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Previous Ranking: 11

As he’s set to hit his 19th birthday tomorrow, Sapovaliv has soared up the list. This actually has a lot more to do with others dropping, but Matyas has done everything you can ask for in his first season post-draft. He posted seven assists in seven games at World Juniors and was utilized as a defensive specialist as well. He’s also posting strong numbers in the OHL with Saginaw. His forechecking continues to be a strong suit and his ability to read the game as a defensive center is strong. He certainly looks like he has an NHL future.

More on Sapovaliv
8/16/22 – Ranking: 11 – The concern during the draft on Sapovaliv was his skating. At Development Camp, it was not notably poor which is a good sign having stepped on the Vegas ice just days after being drafted. He’s a strong forechecker and his awareness in the defensive and neutral zones is great. He potted a goal at World Juniors, but there were definitely some signs that he was struggling to keep up as the tournament went along. He’s a real boom or bust type prospect, and it’s not hard to see some of the characteristics that make VGK believe he’ll boom.


**To view the rest of the SinBin Prospect Rankings, click here.**


(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

1) Jiri Patera
Acquired: 2017 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #161 overall
Age: 23 (February 24, 1999)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #2

Patera has been excellent in the Silver Knights’ goal despite playing behind one of the worst teams in the AHL. He’s been clearly better than NHL veteran Michael Hutchinson and at times he’s even looked better than another NHLer, Laurent Brossoit. VGK’s future between the pipes is very cloudy heading into next year, there’s a real chance Patera inserts himself into that picture.

More on Patera
8/16/22 – Ranking: 2 – Patera is going to get a shot to state his case in camp, then preseason, and then early in the regular season likely at the AHL level. With the VGK goalie room either inexperienced and banged up, opportunity is there for the taking for everyone wants to take it. Patera has shown out well in some chances and not as well in others.

2/23/22 – Ranking: 2 – When given the chance, Patera has looked every bit an AHL caliber goalie, and I mean that in a good way. Despite bouncing between the AHL and ECHL this season, he’s been strong when he’s been in the net in either Henderson or Fort Wayne. It’s incredibly close between he and Ferguson, but they are both miles behind Thompson.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 2 – It was definitely good to see Patera getting plenty of time with the NHLers at the end of the season on the taxi squad. His AHL numbers were a bit of a mess however as he went 2-4-0 on a team that won the division. It’ll be interesting to see if he wins the job as the backup in Henderson this season. There will be a battle to back up Thompson, and Ferguson absolutely might win it.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 3 I probably dock players for injuries more than I should, but it’s just tough to keep guys up in the rankings when they aren’t healthy. Value certainly has dropped on Patera as he was likely to compete for the backup AHL job and now he’s on the sideline watching Ferguson and Thompson compete for it. His injury isn’t expected to be too long-term, but every day missed hurts.

4/16/20 – Patera had a masterful year in the WHL playing for his NHL GM’s team. He was easily the best goalie in the league and showed the promise that had him as the second goalie ever selected by the Golden Knights. Now it’s time for Patera to really face some challenges. He’ll likely sign a contract and end up in the ECHL where he’ll have to compete for a starting role. He went from #4 to #1 in these rankings in a short time, which proves just how close this group of goalies still is.

11/16/19 – Patera has found himself in a bit of a battle just for playing time in Brandon. He has started just eight games, while draft eligible Ethan Kruger has seen the nets 14 times. Patera’s stats are better, but playing time is a good indicator of form in Canadian juniors.

7/5/19 -He dropped down to 4th on the list last time due to a shoddy performance at World Juniors. He stays at #4 now because the guys in front of him all look very good. As a whole the goaltenders had their best camp yet, with all four of them looking good for the most part. Patera definitely seems to be progressing and is starting to track the puck a bit better than he had the previous times we’ve seen him. I was down on the goalie prospects in the system, but after doing this exercise again, ranking Patera 4th, and realizing how good he was in camp, the depth in the system actually looks pretty good.

1/8/19 – Patera is the only one of the Golden Knights goalie prospects to have made a World Junior roster. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good while playing with the Czech team. He had a miserable game the one he was in the net and even had the blooper of the tourney tripping while trying to get back to the net. His numbers in Brandon have been pretty good though, so don’t go crazy. These are 19-year-old goalies we are talking about, if any of them pan out it would be amazing.

9/12/18 – Despite having the best stat line of any of the three goalies, he was the least impressive. It may have a lot to do with the fact that the Kings rookies did not generate much offense, but Patera seemed to lose track of the puck quite a bit. It’s important to note though that the gap between #1 to #4 is fairly slim here. Couple good periods and Patera could be first.

7/28/18 – Patera was selected by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the CHL Import Draft and is looking forward to trying his hand against better competition this season. He made a couple of incredible reactionary saves during 2018 Development Camp, one in particular that still boggles the mind as to how he kept the puck out. He seems to have quick reflexes and is a fairly large guy for his age.


**To view the rest of the SinBin Prospect Rankings, click here.**


Dad’s Trip Success Doesn’t Have To End When Everyone Heads Home




  1. Pistol Pete

    Imo Dorofeyev is viewed by the coaching staff as the most exciting NHL ready option on par with Rondbjerg but potentially more offensive upside. We’ll see who gets called up first.

    • Pistol Pete

      When it comes to prospects I separate them into two groups: those who are on the HSK and those who are not yet. I consider anyone on the HSK roster a “prospect” because they really still are without respect to age. Personally without seeing him in more NHL games, I put Dorofeyev at the top of the HSK ranking (points are AHL):

      Dorofeyev–age 22 (.70 pts/game)
      Rondbjerg–age 23 (.54 pts/game)
      Manninen–age 31 (.64 pts/game)
      Froese–age 31 (.63 pts/game)
      Rempal–age 27 (.73 pts/game)
      Quinney–age 27 (.69 pts/game)

      I have Dorofeyev #1 due to him being the youngest in the group and having the second highest pts/game next to Rempal (a probable AHL career player). I would prefer to see him as the #1 call-up at this point in time.

      Rondbjerg has the lowest pts/game but is the youngest next to Dorofeyev and has fairly deep experience on the VGK. I have him high on the call-up list. Just below or ahead of Dorofeyev.

      Only reason I have Manninen above Froese, Rempal and Quinney is he was drafted at his advanced age and is still breaking in on North American ice in the second toughest league in the world. He’s listed on the roster at 5’9″ 180 about Marchy’s size (I thought he was shorter from another listing). It may be doubtful he makes it but he’s only 28 games in.

      Froese, Rempal and Quinney seem destined to be AHL career players but are still technically “prospects”.

      • Pistol Pete

        I emailed the team 10/21/22 re: Dorofeyev and received a response. When he was called up to play on the VGK earlier this season I did notice he was “bigger, stronger, more in the play”. Thought his forechecking and backchecking was noticeable. He also nearly scored twice on power plays. Cassidy had him up with Eichel at one point as well. Sigificantly more offensive upside than Rondbjerg seems possible.

        The email:

        Pavel Dorofeyev is picking up where he left off with his HSK goal scoring. I’m hoping he can act on Bruce’s preseason comment “he’s not strong enough” and spend more time in the weight room. Kinda thinking he might prove out!

        Team’s response:
        Improved player from a year ago, bigger, stronger, more in the play. Encouraging.

        • Pistol Pete

          Should have clarified above I was ranking only forwards on the HSK roster not D-men.

          • Pistol Pete

            Don’t think there is currently a forwards scratch on the VGK roster. I believe they want Dorofeyev and Rondbjerg getting ice time in Henderson.

          • Pistol Pete

            Forgot Brisson lol. He is definitely on the roster and a “prospect”. Also put Morozov in. Basically this little exercise of mine is ranking HSK players by probability of call-up for what little that is worth lol (readers may find pts/game stats meaningful though). Obviously Ken’s prospect ranking consisting largely of pre-AHL players is key to forecasting who goes to Henderson and becomes an impact NHL player (hopefully Dean next season).

            Call-up ranking (note the top three are a toss up as far as who gets called up in case of injury however I put Froese up there as he has the most NHL games and even scored this season) :

            Dorofeyev–age 22 (.70 pts/game)
            Rondbjerg–age 23 (.54 pts/game)
            Froese–age 31 (.63 pts/game)
            Rempal–age 27 (.73 pts/game)
            Brisson–age 21 (.60 pts/game)
            Manninen–age 31 (.64 pts/game)
            Morozov–age 22 (.31 pts/game)
            Quinney–age 27 (.69 pts/game)

  2. THE hockey GOD

    LT out for weeks

    and it’s FO fault

    damn them
    damn their eyes

  3. Jailbird

    Need to crush the ducks today! Go boys and go KC !

  4. Pistol Pete

    Along with Dean (#5) we should be seeing Brabenek (#1) and Demek (#12). Should be an interesting season in Henderson 2023-24. Would be nice to finally land a homegrown forward with an impact greater than Roy (partly homegrown), Kolesar and Cotter. Vegas never gets a really low pick because they finish too high in the standings. At some point they’ll get lucky with a higher pick the way Tampa Bay did with Kucherov (#58).

    Note: Rankings are per SinBin.

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