With the 34th pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights selected Nic Hague, a 6’6″ 220 pound defenseman from the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads.
Hauge ranked as a first rounder in most publications and was consistently in the top 10 when ranking just defensemen.
The concern, like most big guys playing hockey, was whether or not he would be able to skate at an NHL level due to his size. Considering the Golden Knights specifically discussed the importance of skating as a top priority, he must have passed the test for McPhee, McCrimmon, and the boys.
We’ve heard a lot about Hague since July 24th when he selected with the 3rd pick in the 2nd round of the draft, but this distinction was new.
I think Hague is going to be the Captain of the Vegas Golden Knights at some point in time. The way he talks, the way he commands the players around him, his stature. He was the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year last year. He is a really impressive young man. –Gary Lawless, VGK Insider on SinBin.vegas Podcast
In a profile on Sportsnet Hague described school as “more important than hockey” and it showed out winning the Bobby Smith Trophy for OHL Academic Player of the Year. Of the 12 players to win the award prior to Hague, five of them went on to be captains or assistants in the NHL, including Connor McDavid, Dustin Brown, Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis, and Steven Stamkos.
He’s consistently described as well-spoken, mature, and conducts himself like a pro.
Apparently he’s got a real mean streak in him. I’ve watched him shoot the puck, he can really fire it. -Lawless
He proved that by going completely nuts on a guy in the OHL playoffs. It’s pretty gnarly, check it out. Hague was suspended following the late punch, but he clearly showed some leadership qualities as the biggest guy on the team sticking up for his teammates.
We’re still looking at least a year or two before Hague even makes his debut at T-Mobile Arena, but he’s clearly made an impression on the reporter inside the building.
Are we looking at Chris Pronger light? You sure hope so. -Lawless
We’ve also seen names like Derian Hatcher, Adam Foote, and Scott Stevens. High praise that’s gonna be tough to live up to, but I hope he lives up to it too. I hope so too.
**Lawless made these comments on the most recent SinBin.vegas Podcast. If you don’t listen to our podcast, I’m not sure I can still like you.**
Whoever the chosen captain and alternates are, I think it would be cool for the captain to wear 17 and the two alternate captains wear 20 and 18 just for the inaugural 2017-18 season and then switch to whatever numbers they want for the second season and beyond. It would also be cool for the three of them to lineup at the centre of their blue line for the singing of the national anthem of the first home game, so an expert photographer can capture this historic numerical photo opportunity from Fleury, at the goal crease, to the rest of the team standing on the blue line. Poster prints of this historic occasion should then be made available to all those in attendance for a future home game promotion.