(Last updated: August 16th, 2022)

Criteria to qualify for rankings:

  • Must be younger than 23 years old for skaters, 25 years old for goalies
  • Cannot have played more than 10 NHL games
  • Must be either under contract or drafted by the Golden Knights

Players are ranked based on value to the organization. The most important factor is the player’s ceiling, or how good they can eventually become, but also taken into consideration is how close they are to playing in the NHL and how likely they are to play in the NHL. This is NOT a ranking of which players are the best if a game were to be held today.

Recently Removed: Zack Hayes (Age), Ben Jones (Free Agent), Jack Dugan (Free Agent), Maxim Marushev (Age), Brandon Kruse (Rights Expired), Nick Campoli (Rights Expired), Dylan Ferguson (Free Agent)

SKATERS

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

1) Kaedan Korczak (D)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #41 overall
Age: 21 (January 29, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #2

There’s really only one thing holding Korczak back from the NHL and that’s roster space. He’d have to have a massive Training Camp to push any of the top-seven defensemen off the roster, but there’s no denying he’s ready enough to play in the bigs if there were a spot. He completely dominated Development Camp to the point that he was ruining drills because he’s so sound defensively. He physically looks like an NHLer too. There’s no question of if with him now, it’s when and then for how long, and my guess would be once he breaks through, he’s spending a decade plus in the league.

More on Korczak
2/23/22 – Ranking: 2 – Korczak made his NHL debut earlier this season and definitely didn’t look out of place in the big leagues. He’s continued to take strides both offensively and defensively in the AHL and the occasional nonchalant-ness that we had seen previously is dissipating. His biggest challenge with Vegas is going to be the logjam in front of him, not to mention the few challengers pushing behind him. He’s an NHL player without question though.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 2 – Korczak worked his way up the depth chart for the Silver Knights as the year went on but could never find his place in the lineup permenantly. That should change this year as he’ll probably end up on the HSK top-pair fairly quickly. He’s close to being NHL ready, but the group of seven defensemen in front of him at the NHL level will likely keep him down. Wouldn’t be shocked to see his NHL debut in 2021-22 though.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 4 – The moment Vegas drafted Korczak we knew he was going to be a big guy, but he’s already a monster just one season removed from his draft year and he’s probably only going to get bigger. As he progresses through high levels like World Juniors and the AHL, it appears his calling card will be more as a defense-first penalty kill type player, but he’s certainly looking like he has an NHL future, and probably a long one.

4/16/20 – There’s nothing not to like about Korczak’s game. He’s got size, he’s a good skater, he’s physical, he’s calm on the puck, he can move the puck, and he’ll chip in offensively. His numbers will continue to look good in the WHL, but it’s all about how he looks against better competition going forward and unfortunately we aren’t going to get to see much of that any time soon.

11/16/19 – Korczak looked really good at camp and he has taken that game to the WHL racking up 14 points in 19 games for the Kelowna Rockets. Korczak is the type of defenseman that the Golden Knights are desperately looking for at the NHL level. Of course, he’s not ready at this point (nor would he be available to them anyway) but he’s a mobile, puck-moving d-man who will chip in offensively while taking care of his own end. The next time we really get to see what Korczak has to offer will likely be for Team Canada in December. If he can show something special in that tournament, the 2nd round pick is going to be in the top-five on this list next time for sure.

7/5/19 – The Golden Knights moved up in the draft to select Korczak and it didn’t take long to show why they valued him so much. In his own end, he’s a rock, defending both with his feet (mainly by keeping terrific gaps) and his stick. But what impressed me most with Korczak was his willingness to jump into the rush, or even start a rush. He reminded me a lot of Nate Schmidt, where the entire offense just looks more dangerous in transition when he’s out there.

 

2) Brendan Brisson (F)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 1st Round, #29 overall
Age: 20 (October 22, 2001)
Most Recent Team: University of Michigan (NCAA)
Previous Ranking: 1

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.

More on Brisson
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) Lukas Cormier (D)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #68 overall
Age: 20 (March 27, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: 6

All Lukas Cormier does is post numbers. He once again won the Defensman of the Year award in the QMJHL (first guy ever to win it back-to-back) and he looked comfortable both Development Camp and World Juniors. Questions will continue to remain about how well he’ll hold up in the defensive end against pros, but his offensive game is easily good enough to play at the NHL level. He’ll probably play at least a full year in the AHL before he makes any real push for playing time with the Golden Knights.

More on Cormier
2/23/22 – Ranking: 6 – In maybe the least surprising prospect news, Lukas Cormier is filling it up in the QMJHL. He’s been doing it for three years and is likely to continue his upward trajectory in Juniors. He was also selected to Team Canada and played in two games in World Juniors before it was postponed. It wasn’t perfect for him in that tournament, but he was able to get on the board with a point and an assist. The question marks are still there, but he’s still looking like he could be a 3rd round diamond in the rough.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 5 – Cormier took the most significant jump in this edition of the rankings and it’s well deserved. 54 points in 39 games in the regular season to go along with nine more in eight playoff games cannot go unrecognized. He’s still young and with his small frame he’s likely to take a little longer to even be ready for the AHL, let alone the NHL. He should get a chance to participate in training camp with VGK and maybe even get into a few preseason games. Both will be key in seeing where the ceiling could be on him. Basing it just on his junior stats though, the ceiling is very high.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 10 – This kid is a little firecracker and he’s going to be a fun one to keep an eye on as his career progresses. He’s an offensive wizard, especially on the power play and he’s feisty enough to give people problems in his own end. 21 points in his first 14 QMJHL games has people in Eastern Canada buzzing and his invitation to the ridiculously stacked Team Canada World Junior camp should turn heads. We’re a long way from seeing Lukas in a Golden or even Silver Knights jersey, but there’s absolutely some intriguing upside here.

 

4) Jakub Brabenec (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #102 overall
Age: 18 (September 11, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: 10

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 a ferocity. He’s definitely not ready for the NHL, maybe not even the AHL, but the future is bright.

More on Brabenec
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.

 

5) Paul Cotter (F)
Acquired: 2018 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #115 overall
Age: 22 (November 16, 1999)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #5

This is a big year for the former 4th round pick because of the state of the forward group at the NHL level. The last few years it’s been so crowded that it was always unlikely he’d break through permanently, but now, it’s wide open. New coach, new system, and a fresh look could work out great for Cotter or he could tumble down the depth chart. He has to be full-go from the moment he arrives in Camp. If you know anything about Paul Cotter, he will.

More on Cotter
2/23/22 – Ranking: 5 – Of the group of players to come up and get their first taste of the NHL, Cotter was certainly the most impactful. That doesn’t mean he was the best of the bunch as an all-around player, but he showed scoring touch and his style of play translated to the NHL level, even if just for a short time.  There’s always been some hope that Cotter could become an NHL player, that has only gotten stronger this season.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 9 – It would have been great to have seen a bit more scoring from Cotter in the AHL, but overall it’s hard to be too disappointed with his second season as a pro. This is the year that he’ll have to really take a jump and prove he’s more deserving of an NHL shot than guys like Dugan, Elvenes, Rondbjerg, and others.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 11 – You aren’t going to find a much bigger fan of Paul Cotter than me. The way he plays the game has NHL written all over it, I just think it’s going to take some time for him to become truly trustworthy enough to play at that level. He’s a handful in the corners, he loves the dirty areas in front of the goal, and he has enough scoring touch to do some damage.

4/16/20 – Like Dorofeyev in the KHL, Cotter spent the whole year gaining the trust of the coaching staff in the AHL but never put the numbers up to go with it. Cotter is plays with a bulldog-like style which may or may not translate to the NHL (or even the AHL). But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of time since the Golden Knights selected Cotter, it’s never to give up on this guy.

11/16/19 – Cotter had a goal of earning his spot in the AHL out of Rookie Camp this September. He did just that playing very well both in the rookie games in Irvine, CA as well as in the preseason when he got a chance. Cotter is a bulldog on the ice and plays the style of game that Gerard Gallant will love. Thus far, his AHL numbers have not translated, but he’s been a constant in the lineup and should get the call for Team USA for World Juniors.

7/5/19 – Missing Development Camp really hurt Cotter in these rankings. It’s probably unfair because he’s almost certainly better now than he was a year ago, but not getting to see him with the likes of Dorofeyev, Elvenes, Rondbjerg, and Dugan made it tough to keep him above all of those guys. He was out with an injury and didn’t even attend camp to my knowledge. I still really like the skill level and scoring ability Cotter possesses. Hopefully, he has a monster year and rips up World Juniors and he can bully his way back into the top five.

1/8/19 – Cotter has had an interesting year after starting at Western Michigan. He was having limited success and even found himself scratched from a game at one point. He decided to leave school to go play with the London Knights of the OHL where he’s thrived. 12 points in 17 games has earned him a consistent role in the lineup of a good team. Also, Cotter signed a contract with the Golden Knights recently. This kid can score and he’s probably going to keep doing it at every level he plays at. I’d still guess he’s two or three years away from making his way to Vegas, but you can bet he’ll be a name to keep an eye on at next year’s World Juniors.

9/12/18 – Did not attend Rookie Camp.

7/28/18 – The clear standout from the draft class of 2018 at Development Camp. Cotter has since been invited to play for Team USA at the World Junior Showcase where he’ll be joined by fellow VGK prospect Brandon Kruse. There’s just a certain smoothness to Cotter’s game that is fun to watch. He barely looks like he’s moving when he has the puck and has shown an innate ability to make good passes in traffic. Plus, he has a lightning quick release on his shot which gives most goalies trouble. He’ll head to Western Michigan this year to play in the NCAA and hopefully, he’ll have a spot on the World Junior Championship team in early 2019.

 

6) Ivan Morozov (F)
Acquired: 2018 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #61 overall
Age: 21 (May 5, 2000)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #3

As a player who has been playing professional games for a few years now, he was expected to come into Development Camp and begin making his case to be in the NHL lineup on Opening Day. Not only did he not do that, he actually looked like a player we might have questions about in the AHL. The decision-making was a mess, he wasn’t nearly as strong on the puck as advertised, and defensively he did not stand out. It was the middle of summer and he had not played a lot of hockey in the past few months, so maybe he deserves a pass, but he’s going to have to show a ton more to get back into the fold as a potential option on the big club right out of camp.

More on Morozov
2/23/22 – Ranking: 3 – The time appears to be getting close for Morozov to try his hand with the Golden Knights. He was traded late in the KHL season to Sochi who did not qualify for the playoffs. Thus, his season is over but he likely must wait until the end of April to sign with the Golden Knights. He should be an instant starter in the Henderson lineup and time will tell if he’ll be able to have enough of an offensive touch to make a difference in the NHL.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 3 – The biggest question mark right now on Morozov is when is he going to make the trip across the pond and come to North America. Once he does, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he jumps to #1 on this list instantly. He’s been dynamite in the KHL playing center for one of the league’s best teams. He even went to the World Championships where he added three points in eight games. This kid is the real deal, but he’s not worth thinking about until he leaves Russia.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 2 – If Morozov was doing in the AHL what he’s doing in the KHL the excitement level surrounding him as a prospect would be much higher. The KHL is notorious for making life very difficult on young players and at age 20 Morozov is playing at a high level for one of the league’s best team’s. He’s a 200-foot center that has the hands to score and create for others. 11 goals in 47 KHL games is nothing to scoff at and once he decides it’s time to give North America a shot, I think he’ll be a Golden Knight shortly thereafter.

4/16/20 – Morozov had a pretty wild year playing in three different Russian leagues and in the World Juniors. He impressed at the World Juniors and he was starting to really put it all together in the KHL playoffs. He’s the type of player that is going to get a majority of his goals through hard work and willingness. The problem in his game is that he shuts off from time to time. It ends up leading to breakdowns and penalties. Hopefully it’s something he grows out of because he has enough talent to be an NHLer.

11/16/19 – This is a deceptive one because Morozov actually moves up in the rankings, but he really shouldn’t have. He’s been unable to crack the KHL roster for SKA St. Petersburg and he hasn’t exactly ripped up the Russian minor league, the VHL. World Juniors will be important for Morozov as he may be a top-six center for Russia.

7/5/19 – Yet again, we didn’t actually get to see him play as he skipped Development Camp for the second year. Thus, he ends up soaring down the rankings even though he appears to be a player with a real future. He’s young enough to play for Russia in World Juniors this year, and he should have an expanded role. Hopefully the numbers start showing up in the KHL this year too.

1/8/19 – The first real chance we’ve gotten to see Morozov was a good one. He looked very good at times as the 4th line center for Team Russia. His selection to this team was impressive in the first place as Russia historically does not like to choose 18-year-olds for their U20 team. However, Morozov helped make an impact and looks like a terrific 200-foot player. His backchecking was probably the most exciting part of his game as he constantly would come back into his own zone, break up a play and then get the puck moving forward. Still want to see a lot more of him, but don’t be surprised if he’s in the top 3 or 4 the next time I update this list.

9/12/18 – Did not attend Rookie Camp

7/28/18 – Unable to attend Development Camp following the Draft, Morozov remains a bit of an unknown. However, he has recently signed a contract with SKA St. Petersburg (yeah, the Shippy one) and was selected with Vegas’ only pick in the top 75 of the 2018 Draft which indicates he’s highly regarded. He has quick hands and should be a strong two-way center if/when he makes it to the NHL. A trip to World Juniors would do well for him to move up this list where he probably belongs.

 

7) Jackson Hallum (F)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #91 overall
Age: 19 (September 8, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Previous Ranking: 13

Everyone knows Jackson Hallum can skate like the wind. That was on display for anyone and everyone to see once again at his first Development Camp. The question was whether or not he could do anything offensively with a gear faster than everyone else on the ice. He didn’t exactly light the scoreboard up, but time and time again he was putting defenders in bad positions either creating scoring chances or drawing penalties. There’s a lot to be excited about for a kid getting ready to make a significant leap in competition this season as he heads to Michigan.

More on Hallum
2/23/233 – Ranking: 13 – Moving up a level hasn’t seem to slow down Hallum, either physically in his skating or in his scoring. There’s always going to be a concern as he continues to progress to tougher levels, but 49 points in 41 games is nothing to scoff at in the USHL. The penalty numbers are a bit odd though as he’s taken 70 PIM this season. Will be interesting to see if he remains this type of pest.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 12 – Yet again, Hallum torched the high school circuit, putting up 41 points in 21 games. Now it’s time for a massive step up in competition, not only in who he’ll play against, but who he’s playing with. We mentioned the stacked University of Michigan team when talking about Brisson, it’s even more interesting for Hallum, who may not even find his way onto the ice at all. If he can make an impact on that team, we’re really onto something, if he doesn’t, we might learn that the high school numbers were a mirage.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 17 – The speedy high schooler is once again shredding kids he’s much better than in Minnesota preps. Seven goals in six games and another 10 assists is certainly going to excite anyone, but the competition is about as weak as it gets for an NHL Draft pick that it’s not time to get overly excited. Missed seeing him in a Development Camp, hopefully we do in 2021.

 

8) Brayden Pachal (D)
Acquired: Signed as a Free Agent on September 20, 2019
Age: 21 (August 23, 1999)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: 7

The captain of the Silver Knights re-upped in what continues to be a crowded VGK blueline. The new coaching staff could shuffle the deck a bit which potentially may be a good thing for Pachal. He seems to have an NHL future, the ceiling doesn’t seem massively high though.

More on Pachal
2/23/22 – Ranking: 7 – Being named captain of the Silver Knights cannot be taken lightly. There are a lot of potential NHL players on that roster and he was the one that rose to the top in terms of leadership and garnered that role. There’s still not a ton of offense in his game, but he’s a trusty guy that certainly could find his way into the NHL at some point.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 14 – Pachal was a steady defenseman for the Silver Knights, but he rarely stood out. There’s reason to believe he could be the next Zach Whitecloud because of the consistency in his play, but there’s also a chance he’s simply just an AHL level guy. With the departures of Dahlstrom, Murphy, and Schuldt, Pachal is likely in for a larger role. Handle it well, and he’ll be back in the Top 10 in no time.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 9 – Keep an eye out for Pachal. He plays with an edge and always makes the right play in his own end. He skates well and has just enough offensive spark to make him an interesting prospect for the future. He’s going to grow and grow in his role in the AHL and I have a feeling he’s going to become one of the guys Manny Viveiros leans on when the Horsies need a big defensive shift. Fans of the Silver Knights are going to like him, and I think there’s a chance fans of the Golden Knights get a look before he moves on from this organization. 

 

9) Daniil Chayka (D)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #38 overall
Age: 19 (October 22, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Guelph Storm (OHL)
Previous Ranking: #14

Chayka had a nice Development Camp showing off his physical assets and keeping up in the skating department. He also unloaded a bomb of a shot in one of the scrimmages. There’s still a ways to go to make a call on whether or not he’ll be able to keep up physically or mentally with the speed of the professional game.

More on Chayka
2/23/22 – Ranking: 14 Chayka is doing what he should be for the Storm of the OHL. However, the World Junior run that he had is a bit concerning in regards to his offensive upside. It’s just six games, but he was unable to register a point playing against the better players in the world at his age group. After the so-so KHL run last year, he’s going to have to show a lot more before we can truly expect anything out of him for Vegas.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 8 – The pandemic excuse is a popular one for prospects who had down years last season, but for Chayka it actually seems to be fair. After an excellent season with Guelph, he was forced back to Russia with the OHL taking the season off. He did not fare well at all spitting time between their three leagues. The scouting report is exciting on this kid, so the hope is the return to North America will bring back out the best in him.

 

10) Zach Dean
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 1st Round, #30 overall
Age: 19 (January 4, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: 4

An injury kept Dean off the Development Camp ice for all but one day of drills which has him tumbling a bit in the rankings. The speed is always going to be noticeable as is his motor, but as a 1st round pick, you’d expect more than just that. To this point, it’s hard to say he’s shown it. There’s still plenty of time though.

More on Dean
2/23/22 – Ranking: 4 – Dean is doing exactly what you’d hope to see from a 1st round pick playing in the CHL, dominating. He’s a point per game player that is driving play using his hockey sense to help his team win games. It was a bit disappointing to see him left off the World Junior roster, but he could have another shot with the tournament expected to be replayed this Summer.

8/7/21 Ranking: 6 – VGK’s 1st round pick in 2021 is the prototypical selection from the Golden Knights. He’s a good skater that pays in all situations and has a high hockey IQ. The most exciting part of his game is his skating ability, which he told me he believes can get even better. He’ll probably need another two years of seasoning before he’s knocking on the NHL door, but there’s not a ton of negatives to go along with this 1st round pick.

 

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

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.

 

12) Pavel Dorofeyev (F)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #79 overall
Age: 21 (October 26, 2000)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #9

Dorofeyev seems to have really be unable to get a true foothold at the AHL level. The offensive game shines through from time to time but it’s not consistent enough to overcome some of the issues going the other way. This is a big year for him as he could easily jump right back into the picture to be playing AHL minutes, or he could find himself heading out of town by the start of next season.

More on Dorofeyev
2/23/22 – Ranking: 9 – It’s hard to read much of anything from his appearance in the NHL on Opening Night because the coach didn’t even want to put him on the ice. His offensive game is still not developing the way we had hoped when we first saw him. There’s still a ceiling there that most players below him in these rankings do not have though which is why he’s back into the Top 10 after slipping out last time.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 13 – When I first saw Dorofeyev in a Henderson uni, I thought there was a real chance he was ready for the NHL right then and there. But as I got to watch him more and more, I started to pick up some of the inconsistencies in his game. To me, he’s just not quite strong enough at the moment to be able to handle himself and unleash his best skills at the NHL level. He must be able to possess the puck and create space, if he can’t, he becomes a very average player. There were moments in the AHL where he could, but also moments where he couldn’t. It’s going to take time with him, so there’s no reason to give up, but if he was going to be a superstar, he’d have lit up the AHL much more than he did.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 5 – Dorofeyev is nowhere near as close to the NHL as a few of the players behind him, but he still represents the player in the Vegas system not named Krebs with the most upside. The decision to come to North America and join the Silver Knights is going to be huge in his development and could put him on a path to challenge for a roster spot in a few years. He’s the type of player that Vegas hasn’t had since David Perron and will offer offense to any line they put him on at any level. He needs to get bigger, he’s going to have to prove he can do it in a bit of a grittier league, but this guy has a chance to be a top-six player in the NHL, not many others on this list can.

4/16/20 – There are two ways to look at Dorofeyev’s season. On one hand you can say, “he spent the entire year in the KHL” while on the other you can say “but he did nothing while he was there.” Clearly he earned the trust of the coaching staff of Metallurg Magnitogorsk which is a huge plus as a 19-year-old, but the results simply weren’t there. His performance in World Juniors was just so-so too. Dorofeyev remains a boom or bust prospect, but the boom would be much more significant than the bust.

11/16/19 – Playing in the KHL at the age of 19 is an impressive feat. Early in the season he hasn’t really put up much by way of numbers, but no matter what the stats say, there’s no denying the talent Dorofeyev possesses. The more professional experience he gets under his belt, the better he’s going to become. He’ll be at World Juniors for Team Russia, and he’ll likely put on a show.

7/5/19 – This guy has skill for days and he’s only 18-years-old. Dorofeyev slipped in the draft, but he impressed mightily at Development Camp in his first appearance. The KHL prospect is incredible controlling the puck and advancing it to dangerous areas. His vision is stupendous which matches his passing. After a full season on the international-sized ice it was to be expected that Dorofeyev would not look as comfortable on the puck on the smaller rink, but that couldn’t have been further from reality. He’s got a long way to go physically, but the upside on Dorofeyev is incredibly exciting.

 

13) Patrick Guay (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #145 overall
Age: 20 (April 29, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

A rare overage draft pick for the Golden Knights, Guay’s stats must have just been too much for Vegas to overlook, and for good reason. 104 points in 68 games with 55 goals is nothing to scoff at, and he looked the part of a bonafide scorer at Development Camp. The issue will lie in his size (he’s small) and his non-noteworthy skating. He has Jonathan Marchessault written all over him, but if you remember #81’s career arc, it took a long time and multiple area code changes before he became the player he is today.

 

14) Peter Diliberatore (D)
Acquired: 2018 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #180 overall
Age: 22 (March 31, 2000)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #11

There is a lot to like about Diliberator’s offensive game and every time he’s on the ice it shines through. The challenge for Peter now may be fitting into a much different system with VGK’s coaching change. His game appeared suited for DeBoer, time will tell if the offense can still be present in Cassidy’s.

More on Diliberatore
2/23/22 – Ranking: 11 – A year ago when it looked like the AHL was a bit too much for Diliberatore, now he seems to belong. He’s playing regular minutes and has been a special teams option for much of the season as well. He has the offensive instincts of a forward yet still defends well enough. His skating looks better and better and there now should certainly be some hope that he can continue to develop and potentially push for a spot in the NHL.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 20 – The hope was an AHL stint would push Dilberatore up this list, unfortunately, it did the opposite. The few times I was able to watch him he just didn’t quite look like he belonged. Obviously, last year was a rough year on a lot of people, so it’s not time to give up here, but while there was some hope a while back, it’s certainly fading.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 14 – Rather than signing a pro contract, which I believe the Golden Knights would have offered him, Diliberatore headed back to Quinnipiac where he’s been excellent as an alternate captain on a good team.

4/16/20 – Diliberatore had his name announced to the world when he was invited to the Team Canada World Junior camp ahead of the tournament. He was one of the final players cut from the team that went on to win the tournament. Numbers-wise there’s nothing to get too excited about, but a 6th round pick almost making that team is nothing to scoff at. Look for Diliberatore to make an impression the next time he wears a sweater with a Golden Knight on it.

11/16/19 – It would have been nice to have seen more of Diliberatore in Rookie Camp, but as an NCAA player he was not eligible to participate. He was one of the players that showed the most amount of development from 2018 to 2019 and he’s continuing to show that at Quinnipiac. Six points in nine games and 21 PIM shows he’s got a little grit to his game.

7/5/19 – Diliberatore was the last prospect in the rankings both times he’s been eligible. Not anymore. He now looks like a confident, steady defenseman with smooth, strong skating which allows him to generate offense in transition. He was one of, if not the most, impressive defensemen in camp and he’s starting to look like a player who has a real shot at becoming an NHLer. His size didn’t seem to impede anything he was trying to do on the ice and his decision making was nearly flawless the entire week. He’s a good example of why you don’t write off draft picks after one Development Camp a few days after they are drafted.

1/8/19 – A rare smaller defensive-minded defenseman (or at least that’s what he’s been scouted as), Diliberatore has nine points in 20 games as a freshman at Quinnipiac.

9/12/18 – Did not attend Rookie Camp

7/28/18 – As a high schooler playing with many high-end prospects and even a few professionals, Diliberatore kind of looked like a high schooler. It’s really not too fair to judge him on the performance at Development Camp though because as a shorter defenseman he was kind of thrown to the wolves.

 

15) Jakub Demek
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #128 overall
Age: 19 (June 6, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Previous Ranking: 19

Demek’s size is unmistakable on the ice and he uses it to his favor both in forechecking and making life difficult in front of opponents’ goal. The problem is that it doesn’t often translate to much as was the case in Edmonton at World Juniors. There’s still a strong hope he can become a defensive option in the forward pool.

More on Demek
2/23/22 – Ranking: 19 – From basically unscouted to posting 44 points in 38 games in the WHL, Demek is already a bit of a success story. He was selected to play for Team Slovakia at World Juniors as well but only got to play in two games with them before the tournament was shut down. He remains the biggest darkhorse in the VGK prospect pool.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 26 – We’re still trying to figure out how the Golden Knights found this kid as he was unlisted on most draft guides and was ranked very poorly by NHL Central Scouting. VGK have reached for players like this before and they’ve succeeded at the lower levels. Let’s see if Demek can do it as well.

 

16) Jordan Gustafson (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #79 overall
Age: 18 (January 20, 2004)
Most Recent Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

The “Gus Bus” as I’m told he’s affectionately called in Seattle showed his speed in Development camp, but not a whole lot else. It’s always tough to get a read on kids in their first pro experience, so there’s no reason to go making any sweeping opinions on the 3rd round pick yet.

 

17) Ben Hemmerling (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #177 overall
Age: 18 (April 21, 2004)
Most Recent Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

Hemmerling had a nose for the front of the goal in Development Camp which is a welcome sign for those wearing a Golden Knights uniform. He also popped in many of the drills at the beginning of camp.

 

18) Mason Primeau (F)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #141 overall
Age: 21 (July 28, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #18

It’s still tough to tell if Primeau’s skill level is only impressive because of his size or if it’s legitimately impressive. Anyone as massive as he is is going to stand out on the ice. Time will tell if that size can translate into something useless in the NHL, or if he’s destined for a long career pushing guys around in the AHl.

More on Primeau
2/23/22 – Ranking: 18 – Primeau was a standout in the rookie tournament before the season, finally starting to flash an ability to control a game with his size. He showed much better hands that we’ve seen before from him and appeared to be headed for a nice first full season in the AHL. The offense hasn’t translated yet to the AHL game though. At times, the skill does flash through, but it’s been too few and far between to get too excited about.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 24 – Earning a contract is certainly a nice step for Primeau and a sign the Golden Knights really believe in him. However, the on-ice performance really hasn’t matched it as he was a non-factor at the AHL level. A few ECHL games saw him produce a bit more but nothing spectacular. He’s young, he’s big, there’s still plenty of time, but so far, he looks like a 5th round pick.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 22 – Primeau is currently skating with the Silver Knights as the OHL awaits a start date. In practice, he certainly doesn’t stand out, which can be interpreted one of two ways. Eiter he’s good enough to play at that level or he’s not doing anything good enough to get noticed. He’s still super young, so the 6’5″ forward still has a chance to turn himself into something.

4/16/20 – When in doubt, the story about Mason is going to head towards his bloodlines, ones that run deep with NHL experience. To this point though, he hasn’t shown much aside from the last name as to indicate he’s got NHL caliber skill. He’s a gigantic kid and he skates well for his size, but 19 points and a -36 rating in 45 games in the OHL isn’t going to cut it.

11/16/19 – Named an assistant for North Bay, Primeau has decreased his penalty minutes while increasing his scoring through 20 games.

7/5/19 – I’m not normally a fan of bigger guys, he wasn’t able to use his physicality in camp, and he was one of the youngest guys on the ice. It was all cut out for Primeau to be the last ranked player on a list made by me. Truthfully, it’s unfair, because his hands were better than expected and he didn’t stand out as slow, but someone has to be on the bottom, so here we are.

 

19) Artur Cholach (D)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #190 overall
Age: 19 (June 6, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Previous Ranking: 21

Much better at Development Camp than he was at the Rookie Faceoff, there are definitely some aspects of Cholach’s game that may help him push up this list. At this point though, we need a see a lot more of it before we make a judgment on whether or not there’s a pro career ahead of him.

More on Cholach
2/23/22 – Ranking: 21 – Cholach did not impress during the Rookie Faceoff in Arizona. He constantly looked a step behind and because of it he was out of position defensively far too often. He’s a defense-first guy, but he’ll have learn how to be able to offset his footspeed as he gets older and more experienced.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 27 – It’s all going to come down to how well Choclach can skate for his size. A gigantic kid at 6’4″, 200 pounds, he may even get bigger by the time he makes his way onto VGK or HSK ice. The numbers have been pedestrian, but he’ll likely fare much better playing against kids instead of men.

 

20) Abram Wiebe (D)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 7th Round, #209 overall
Age: 18 (August 28, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

The biggest part of Wiebe that made itself known at Development Camp was his personality. While most were seemingly a bit nervous to chat with the local media Wiebe seemed right at home.

 

21) Connor Corcoran (D)
Acquired: 2018 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #154 overall
Age: 20 (August 7th, 2000)
Most Recent Team: Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL)
Previous Ranking: #22

A player that was expected to have quite a bit of offensive upside is starting to trend towards being more of a defense-first type defenseman. With the crowd in the prospect system at defense, he could be headed back to the ECHL.

More on Corcoran
2/23/22 – Ranking: 22 – Corcoran is continuing to head in the wrong direction, mainly due to the fact that he’s been stuck in the ECHL. It’s not impossible, but usually when guys spend multiple seasons in “The Coast” you don’t see them pushing for NHL jobs at any point.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 18 – Corcoran only saw two games with the Silver Knights and was unspectacular in both. He eventually made his way to the ECHL where he was able to put up three assists in four games. Expect to see him in the AHL much of this season competing for time amongst the group of young D.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 12 – Unfortunately, Corcoran has not been available for the start of camp, the AHL preseason, and likely the start of the regular season. It’s a crowded blue line in Henderson that he’s going to have to compete with and missing time never helps anyone. Will the offensive game translate from Juniors to the AHL? If the answer is yes, he’ll be on track for an NHL job in a year or two. If it doesn’t, the development as a newer defenseman will have to continue.

4/16/20 – Corcoran took a huge step in the right direction in his second season as a full-time defenseman. His defensive game has always been there but this season in the OHL the offensive game came with. Corcoran was a risky pick as a defenseman who had barely even played the position when he was selected, and he looked that way when we first saw him in Vegas, but he’s come a long way and he’s turned himself into a player with massive upside.

11/16/19 – Corcoran is expected to be a defense-first player, but he’s lighting it up offensively in his fourth season in the OHL. Four goals and nine assists in 16 games has him in the top 15 for defenseman in points per game and he’s taking care of his own end as well posting a +3 thus far. Considering he ended last year with a -45 rating, that’s quite a step in the right direction.

7/5/19 – He continued to look like the player we’ve expected him to be. He’s a defense-first guy who relies on fundamentals over flash. These types of guys are so hard to keep tabs on, even when you get to watch them live, because the best thing they can do is be unnoticeable. He was that in Development Camp, which I think is a good thing, right?

1/8/19 – He’s going to be a tough one to keep track of because he’s a typical defensive-minded defenseman. The stats won’t look good and he’s not going to find his way into many glowing postgame stories. He’s kind of in a class of his own among VGK prospects as there aren’t many giant defensemen list.

9/12/18 – In the rookie games, Corcoran looked like the youngest player on the ice. As the weekend went on he certainly grew and started to seem a bit more comfortable, but like Bouchard, it’s not really fair to judge him against the other four defensemen. We’ll learn a lot more about him when he returns next year for camp.

7/28/18 – The youngest Golden Knight prospect is likely going to be a more defensive minded player as he matures. He’s physically very strong and looked excellent along the boards at Development Camp, but his skating and puck-moving skills never quite displayed themselves at City National Arena.

 

22) Layton Ahac (D)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #86 overall
Age: 21 (February 22, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #16

Coming into camp as one of the older players it was expected that we’d finally start to see what made Ahac a 3rd round pick. There wasn’t much to show for it aside from sound positioning and proper decision-making in the defensive zone. He’s probably not physically imposing enough to make it to the NHL on defense alone, so that offensive touch is going to have to come at some point.

More on Ahac
2/23/22 – Ranking: 16 – Ahac has been battling through an injury that kept him out for the majority of the first half of the season. He’s finally gotten himself into the lineup but hasn’t made a huge impact at the AHL level. His skating looks good, especially in going back to get pucks, but there will likely need to be a little more willingness to jump into the play if he’s going to become an NHL player.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 15 – Scouting stay-at-home defensemen is always going to be tough, and that’s the case with Ahac. He actually flashed a lot more of an offensive game on different viewings I had, but he’s certainly not going to be labled as an offensive-minded defenseman any time soon. Like Pachal, there’s probably a bit more of a role of him this season. Can he climb the depth chart?

2/3/21 – Ranking: 15 – Unlike the player ahead of him at this point (Diliberatore), he needed to go back to college to continue developing on both ends of the ice. Scoring as a defenseman at the NCAA level is tricky, and Ahac still likely projects as more of a defense-first option. He has one goal and six assists in 17 games, numbers that would need to improve if he’s going to stake his claim as a high-end prospect he was hoped to be as a 3rd round selection.

4/16/20 – Ahac disappointed a bit at the Fortress Invitational in Vegas and didn’t make much noise as a freshman at Ohio St. However, there’s no way that should mean it’s time to write him off. His skating ability alone is worth keeping him on the radar and he should get better and better as he progresses through his college career. It might be a while until we see him in Vegas, even in the AHL, but if he can develop the way the Golden Knights envisioned, he has the tools to be a solid player.

11/16/19 – Ahac has cemented himself as a staple in the Ohio State defense, which is impressive as a freshman. Statistically, he’s not going to blow you out of the water, but Ahac is a very good defense-first defenseman. He and the Buckeyes will be at T-Mobile Arena for the Fortress Invitational in early January.

7/5/19 – The tall, skinny, defenseman is headed to Ohio State to play college hockey this year, but he sure impressed in camp before leaving. His skating was impressive, his poise was excellent, and his passing from the defensive zone was suburb. I would have liked to see a little more jump to his offensive game, but in a first camp, as a 3rd round pick defenseman, he looked pretty darn good.

 

23) Ryder Donovan (F)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #110 overall
Age: 21 (October 4, 2000)
Most Recent Team: University of Wisconsin (NCAA)
Previous Ranking: #25

After announcing a transfer to Vermont, Donovan looked like an experienced player at Development Camp. The problem is the speed that he possesses still doesn’t seem to ever be able to turn into scoring chances for himself or others. Unfortunately, because he’s a fun guy to be around, his time in the VGK system is likely coming to a close soon.

More on Donovan
2/23/22 – Ranking: 25 – Two goals in 20 games for a strong team just isn’t going to cut it. He’s basically become a 4th line option in college, which doesn’t bode too well for him finding his way onto even the AHL squad when his time is up at school.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 29 – After a pair of underwhelming seasons for Wisconsin, it’s going to be crucial that Donovan starts to prove himself in his Junior season. He has just eight points in 54 collegiate games. That number needs to be upwards of 20 if he wants a legitimate shot of earning a VGK contract.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 20 – Man, I was really hoping this would be the year he’d take a huge step forward with a very good Wisconsin team. It just hasn’t happened and it’s concerning for his future as a prospect. He’s playing on the 4th line and has scored just twice in 16 games adding one assist. He’s spent a ton of time in the penalty box too, 38 minutes.

4/16/20 – Donovan had an unspectacular freshman year, but the jump in competition is a big one for a high school senior to a freshman in college. His size and speed along with playmaking ability continue to be exciting, but he’s going to have to start producing over the next few years if he’s ever going to prove he can make an impact professionally.

11/16/19 – Donovan hasn’t exactly lit up the scoreboard, but he’s been a constant in a very talented Wisconsin lineup. A big, speedy player, he needs experience for his hands to catch up to his mind and feet. The more he plays in college, the better he’ll get.

7/5/19 – The name of the game for Donovan is speed. He just needs the rest of his game to catch up to his feet. Playing with much better players than he’s used to, he didn’t look out of place at all because his skating kept him around the action. His hands need to get much better but I definitely think they can as he heads to the University of Wisconsin. I expect when we see him again that he’ll be a standout in the “look how far this guy progressed” category.

 

24) Marcus Kallionkieli (F)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #139 overall
Age: 21 (March 20, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Previous Ranking: #20

He looked big and strong and it was nice to see him finally participating in a Golden Knights sweater, but there just wasn’t a ton to his game that stood out. He seemed to be able to hold onto the puck longer than most, but rarely did much come from it.

More on Kallionkieli
2/23/22 – Ranking: 20 – Yet again, we were supposed to see Kallionkieli in a Golden Knights sweater at the Rookie Faceoff in Arizona. And yet again, it didn’t happen. He’s not producing as well as he should at the WHL level as an overaged player too. It’s trending in the wrong direction, unfortunately.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 21 – Kallionkieli has been in the Golden Knights’ system for a while now, but he just hasn’t been on the ice enough to make a true impact in that time. He scored twice in six games in Henderson, but even while doing so he wasn’t really popping on the AHL ice. A solid full pro season could really shoot him up this list.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 18 – It was certainly a disappointment to not see Kallionkieli’s name listed on the Finnish World Junior roster. He’s currently playing on a U20 team in Finland where he’s done fine to start the year. There’s still quite a bit of upside to his game, so at this point he’s not plummeting down the rankings.

4/16/20 – After the injury that took him out of both Development and Training camps, Kallionkieli headed up to McCrimmon’s Brandon Wheat Kings where he took some time to get his feet underneath him. Just as he started to get it going and show his ability to drive offense, he got hurt again. Injuries obviously now become a concern, but this kid can flat out play when he’s healthy.

11/16/19 – Kallionkieli has been injured since Development Camp and has been rehabbing with the NHL team at City National Arena. Without the ability to see him play, it’s hard to really judge much on him since the draft. Scouts like him a lot, and the Golden Knights are investing in him by keeping him around. Plus, he signed a contract, which many above him on this list have not. That’s a good sign in what the team thinks of him.

7/5/19 – Kallionkieli was fairly unnoticeable in the short time he was able to spend on the ice during the scrimmage at Development Camp. He did not play in the final two games due to injury which could certainly have been a reason his skill level didn’t shine through when he was out there. His skating looked good though, which is why he’s not at the very bottom of this list. Just need to see a lot more from him.

 

25) Noah Ellis (D)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #184 overall
Age: 20 (February 1, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
Previous Ranking: 24

As a defense-first defenseman, it’s usually best to be almost forgotten on the ice. However, Ellis was so unnoticeable that at times I did legitimately forget he was out there. Not a good sign as a 20-year-old playing with a lot of 18’s and 19’s.

More on Ellis
2/23/22 – Ranking: 24 – Ellis is headed to UMass next season to play college hockey, but the numbers as a 20-year-old in the USHL leave a lot of room for concern about his future as an NHLer before he gets there.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 28 – Ellis had a nice season in the USHL last year as he plans on heading to college this year. Coming off a -20 rating in 2019-20, he turned it into a 0 in 2020-21. This year will represent a step up in competition, ice time will be telling for Ellis.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 24 – As a product of not being on the ice this season at all, Ellis has never had a chance to show much of anything since being drafted. He’s a big kid that’s likely to get bigger, but until we see him, he has to be near the bottom of these rankings.

 

GOALIES 

1) Jesper Vikman
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #125 overall
Age: 20 (March 11, 2002)
Most Recent Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Previous Ranking: 4

Wow did Vikman look good in the net at City National Arena during Development Camp. He was extremely calm in the net, moved well for a bigger guy, and was positionally sound all week long. I know he’s probably not, because he’s yet to become old enough to drink in the United States, but he looked good enough to be able to play in an AHL game tomorrow.

More on Vikman
2/23/22 – Ranking: 4 – Vikman was fairly good in his start in the Rookie Faceoff and looked like he was right on par with Patera in the practices. He’s been solid in the WHL and he was very good in his pair of hames for the U20 Team Sweden.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 6 – Vikman bounced between three leagues in Sweden and didn’t have a ton of sucess in any of them. He’s still very young, so there’s no reason to give up, but at the moment, this is the only place he can be in these rankings.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 5 – Vikman is the earliest drafted goalie in the VGK system (2nd all-time behind Maxim Zhukov). The Golden Knights moved up in the Draft to get him so there has to be plenty they like. At the moment though, unspectacular stats in Sweden make it hard for me to assign much value.

 

2) 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 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.

More on Patera
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.

 

3) Isaiah Saville
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #135 overall
Age: 20 (September 21, 2000)
Most Recent Team: University of Omaha-Nebraska (NCAA)
Previous Ranking: #3

Like each of the goalies in Development Camp, Saville looked comfortable and confident in the goal. He was better than expected to start his AHL career as well. There are a lot of balls up in the air for the new Director of Goaltending Sean Burke to figure out, where Saville plays his games this year is an important one of them.

More on Saville
2/23/22 – Ranking: 3 – Yet again, Saville is doing his job at the college ranks. He has the best goals against average of his career and his save percentage has been steady across each of his three seasons. Plus, he was voted as having the best dance moves in postgame celebrations for the Mavericks. That has to count for something.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 4 – Another similar season has Saville sticking right where he has always been among the Golden Knights goalie prospects. That spot is as a hopeful option to turn pro and become a good minor league and eventually push to make the NHL. At this point, he doesn’t have much to prove in college, but there’s really no sense in leaving yet either as there’s not a spot for him in the VGK system. Based on talent alone, he is probably #2 on the list, but being stuck in college has dropped him to #4.

2/3/21 – Ranking: 2 – Nothing but steady play from Saville has his climbing back into the #2 spot for the Golden Knights. The question now becomes how long does he stay in college and then when he does decide to turn pro, what does the organizational depth look like at that time. He’s probably ready to be an AHL backup already, one has to wonder how long he’s willing to wait to make that a reality.

4/16/20 – Saville’s freshman season was solid in Omaha, especially for a newcomer goalie. He got the call to be a part of Team USA at the World Juniors but served as the third goalie and never saw action. Nonetheless, everything is headed in the right direction for Saville despite heading in the wrong direction on these rankings.

11/16/19 – “The Mayor” has gotten off to a nice start in his collegiate career. Posting a 2.27 GAA in seven games, Saville has helped the Mavericks get out to a 5-3-1 start. He’ll always be a bit of an anomaly as a right-hand catching goalie, but there’s nothing to make anyone doubt this kid to this point. Plus, he’s got a heck of a personality, which is going to make him a fan favorite no matter where he plays.

7/5/19 – Saville has been by far the most impressive goalie in his first appearance with the Golden Knights. He looked incredibly confident in the goal and his technique was terrific for an 18-year-old. Dave Prior is constantly working with goalies to try and make minor changes to their game, often times throwing them off a bit, but with Saville that wasn’t the case. Prior wanted Saville to challenge shooters further out of the goal cutting down angles. He did it, and it seemed to make him even better as the week went on. Of the goalies remaining in the Golden Knights system, he’s the highest draft pick and he looks like he’s on the right path to becoming a solid prospect.

 

4) Cameron Whitehead
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #128 overall
Age: 19 (June 13, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Lincoln Stars (USHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

For a first-timer in Development Camp, Whitehead looked composed. He was really good in the shootouts and rarely allowed a goal in scrimmages. It was a little more hit and miss in the drills, but usually goalies in their first camps don’t do well. You can’t say that about him.

 

5) Carl Lindbom
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 7th Round, #222 overall
Age: 19 (May 20, 2003)
Most Recent Team: Djurgardens IF (Sweden)
Previous Ranking: 5

He really didn’t do anything wrong, other guys have just been better than him. This is both at Development Camp and at World Juniors where he has yet to dress for Team Sweden.

More on Lindbom
2/23/22 – Ranking: 5 – Lindbom looked very uncomfortable in the goal during his time in practice with the Golden Knights in Phoenix. However, when he got into the game he was much better and made a number of strong saves. His raw numbers don’t say he’s that small, but he looks pretty small in the goal, which could be a problem.

8/7/21 – Ranking: 5 He served as the main goalie for Team Sweden in the U18 Championships where they earned a bronze medal. It will be interesting to see how his aggressive nature is coached as the Golden Knights have headed more towards the passive style of goaltending since relieving Dave Prior.