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Return of 19-71-81 Yields Positive Dividends In First Appearance

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Sometimes the answer to the test is in clear sight.

Nothing has been more successful in the history of the Golden Knights than the line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith. While many have been clamoring for the return of Smith at the trade deadline, the man wearing his old number stepped into the spot on Saturday night and performed as well as he ever has in a VGK sweater.

Brendan Brisson recorded three shots on goal, drew a penalty, and was on the ice for one of Vegas’ two 5-on-5 goals in his first chance playing alongside Karlsson and Marchessault.

The line was consistently threatening, and Brisson fit seamlessly with two of Vegas’ biggest stars. They were on the ice for 12:01 and generated 10 scoring chances. In addition, they finished the game with more attempts, shots, expected goals, high-danger chances, and goals than their opponents.

He’s a smart player. He’s pretty dangerous once he gets the chance to be. I think he complimented us pretty good today. -William Karlsson

As a team at 5-on-5, the Golden Knights generated 2.29 expected goals against the Senators in Ottawa. The trio of Karlsson, Marchessault, and Brisson were directly responsible for 0.72 of them and they were on the ice for just short of 1.0. Thus, the familiar 19-71-81 line generated nearly half of Vegas’ expected goals while playing just 20% of available ice time.

Brisson has bounced around the Vegas lineup during his time in the NHL this year. He’s played in nine games and has been on eight different lines with eight separate linemates.

The last time Vegas played Toronto, Bruce Cassidy opted to play Brisson with Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio in an offensive-leaning third line while Karlsson and Marchessault were separated. This time, he’s almost certain to go back to 19-71-81 and hope the old magic continues anew.

Golden Knights Prospect Rankings – October 4th, 2023

Most of the rookies have been sent to where they will play for this season and we were able to get a good look at many of them. So, it’s time for an update to the SinBin Prospect Rankings.

Six players dropped out of the rankings, the most ever, leaving just 22 skaters and five goalies in the system. A familiar face has risen back to #1 while a newcomer checks in at #2.

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

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: Zach Dean (Trade), Ivan Morozov (Loan), Pavel Dorofeyev (NHL Experience), Peter Diliberatore (Trade), Connor Corcoran (Age), Ryder Donovan (Age)

SKATERS

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

1) 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

The VGK coaching staff has gotten a good hard look at Brisson this offseason and it definitely seems as if they like what they are seeing. He’ll probably still need some seasoning in the NHL, especially when it comes to stick and physical battles, but he will play NHL games this season.

More on Brisson
2/11/23 – 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.

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.

 

2) David Edstrom (F)
Acquired: 2023 Entry Draft, 1st Round, #32 overall
Age: 18 (February 18, 2005)
Most Recent Team: Frolunda (SHL)
Previous Ranking: N/A

As an 18-year-old Edstrom has slotted right into professional hockey and he’s already producing. He has 6 points in 7 games and is a mainstay in the Frolunda lineup. He’s a big strong kid who is a good skater for his size. He’s aggressive on the ice and willing to push people around (or out of the way) to get to where he needs to go. As one of two remaining 1st round picks in the VGK system, the upside on Edstrom is definitely as exciting as any prospect in the pool.

 

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

3) Layton Ahac (D)
Acquired: 2019 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #86 overall
Age: 22 (February 22, 2001)
Most Recent Team: Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #6

Ahac showed up yet again this summer and training camp and has put himself in the hat as a potential NHL call up this year. He looked every bit the part of an NHL defenseman in the preseason and was calm and collected in all of the rookie games. He’ll need to take some steps offensively if he’s ever going to be a majorly impactful player, but there appear to be NHL games in his future.

More on Ahac
2/1/23 – Ranking: 6 – The biggest riser of any prospect on this update is Ahac. The main reason for this rise was his play at Training Camp when he went up against his NHL teammates. Ahac impressed much more than he ever has both with his composure in the defensive zone and his puck-moving skills. He’d always been thought of as a defense-first d-man but there is definitely more to his game when he’s around more skilled players. The numbers haven’t been there in the AHL (4 points in 34 games) which is concerning, but he didn’t look discernably different than Korczak and Kaedan is knocking at the door of being an NHL regular.

8/16/22 – Ranking: 22 – 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.

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 labeled 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.

 

4) Jackson Hallum (F)
Acquired: 2020 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #91 overall
Age: 21 (September 8, 2002)
Most Recent Team: University of Michigan (NCAA)
Previous Ranking: 10

Yet again, Hallum was one of the most exciting players on the ice at Development Camp. His speed and playmaking jump off the page to whoever is watching and it definitely appears he’s starting to truly understand how to play at a speed quicker than everyone else on the ice. He needs a big college season though to keep the upward momentum. It didn’t happen last year, maybe it will this year.

More on Hallum
2/11/23 – Ranking: 10 – Hallum was impressive in Rookie Camp and the hope was that his speed would help him dominate games in college. That hasn’t quite come to life in his freshman year at Michigan as he’s scored just four goals and added eight assists in 26 games. There has to be more to his game than speed, hopefully, that happens in the next few years at Michigan.

2/23/22 – Ranking: 7 – 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.

2/23/22 – Ranking: 13 – Moving up a level hasn’t seemed 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.

 

5) Matyas Sapovaliv (F)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #48 overall
Age: 19 (February 12, 2004)
Most Recent Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Previous Ranking: 3

Sapovaliv did not flash like we had hoped in the most recent Development Camp and rookie games but there’s no doubt the skill is there for him to be a useful center. He put on a bunch of weight and it shows in the way he is able to use his body forecheck. The skating, which was a concern, does not seem to be as big a problem as was described after he was drafted.

More on Sapovaliv
2/11/23 – Ranking: 3 – 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.

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.**

Roster Down To 26, Who Will Survive The Last Round Of Cuts?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With eyes set on 23, the Golden Knights training camp roster of 66 has been cut all the way down to 26. The VGK front office have just a few more decisions to make. But, these final ones are always the toughest.

The 26-man roster included 15 forwards, nine defensemen, and two goalies. Three more players will have to find their way off this group before Vegas can drop the banner celebrating the Stanley Cup and begin their quest to repeat.

Obviously, the two goalies, Adin Hill and Logan Thompson are expected to suit up on October 10th, with the playoff hero Hill expected to start between the pipes against the Kraken. Down to 24.

Forwards Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Chandler Stephenson, Ivan Barbashev, Nic Roy, William Carrier, and Keegan Kolesar are all guaranteed, if healthy, to be on the roster as well. That puts us at 15.

On the back end, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, Alec Martinez, and Nic Hague are all locks. So, we’re down to ten.

Ten players. Seven will be on the roster, three will be not.

They are Michael Amadio, Brett Howden, Paul Cotter, Pavel Dorofeyev, Max Comtois, Brendan Brisson, Zach Whitecloud, Ben Hutton, Brayden Pachal, and Kaedan Korczak.

The first variable is always health. Right now, one of those ten players, Zach Whitecloud, is not healthy, and has already been ruled out for the rest of the preseason. If he’s not available to go to start the season, he’ll be placed on injured reserve (IR) and would represent one of the three that would not be on the official 23-man opening night roster. That being said, if Whitecloud can play, his name would have been up there next to Pietrangelo and Theodore as a lock.

Amadio, Howden, and Hutton are all as close to locks as you can be as well. The Golden Knights are not immune to throwing a surprise at us every once in a while, but in this case, it would be a bit of a stunner if the 23-man roster drops without all three of their names.

So, we’re down to six players for two or three spots (depending on Whitecloud). In order, here’s who is most likely to make the final 23.

Read More

Brendan Brisson Switches To #19, Looking To Seize #19’s Place In The Lineup Too

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For Brendan Brisson, 2023 offers opportunities. First, to wear the jersey number he’s waited a few years for, and second, to wear that jersey in the game he’s waited his entire life for.

Reilly Smith’s departure from the Golden Knights left both the #19 available and a winger position open in the Golden Knights lineup. Brisson wasted no time snapping up the first.

I have all the respect for Reilly Smith. Since the first day he got here, he’s been so meaningful not only to the organization but the city of Vegas. I’ve worn 19 my whole life, so I reached out to some of the older guys on the team just to make sure it was all good. I reached out to Reilly as well and told him if there’s a problem I won’t switch. He said, ‘Just make sure you take care of her.’ -Brendan Brisson

Brisson understands the gravity of the change, and he’s planning on using it in a positive way.

Read More

4 Golden Knights Ready To Breakout

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

Just about every player to step on the ice for the Golden Knights this season will have already fulfilled their goal as a hockey player. Now, they are all working together to do it again. Individually though, there’s room for improvement for many players on the Vegas roster. With a few departures and an 82-game season in store, there will be opportunities for many Golden Knights, especially the younger ones, to take a step forward. Here are four candidates who could be in store for breakout seasons.

Brett Howden

Howden’s career high in points in a season is just 23 and he scored only 13 for the Golden Knights last year. Of course, his contributions in the playoffs ramped up significantly after he found himself as the third wheel on a line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson. Howden scored five goals (including an OT GWG in the WCF) and added five assists for 10 points in 22 playoff games.

This year, he’ll likely start the season right back in that same spot on the second line and might even find his way onto a power play unit. Howden’s skill set clearly matched up well with Stone and Stephenson which should equate to a lot more playing time than he’s seen in the past. Last season he averaged just 13:04 per game. That number jumped by almost a minute per night to 13:59 in the playoffs. It’d be easy to project him to play closer to 15:00 a game this season as long as the chemistry holds with his linemates.

He’s never reached double-digit goals nor has he eclipsed 25 points in a season in his career. He has a great chance to do both, and potentially much more, this year.

Read More

2023 Development Camp Observations

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

The Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights wrapped up their yearly summer Development Camp. Every draft pick since the 2020 Draft attended plus a host of Silver Knights, Ghost Pirates, and camp invitees.

The group was split into two teams that practiced together for the entire week and participated in two scrimmages. Here are my observations from 2023 Development Camp.

  • Jackson Hallum is very fast.
    • This is really not news as it’s been the defining feature of his game since he was selected in the 3rd round of the 2020 Draft, but boy did it show up on the ice this week. He scored three times in the scrimmages (no one else had more than one), and he was noticeable all over the ice in both games. His hands and mind definitely appear to be catching up to his feet. Certainly an exiting prospect moving forward.
  • Isaiah Saville is on another level compared to the other goalies.
    • This is certainly not to say any of the goalies were bad (they definitely weren’t) but there’s a certain calmness in the net and playing the puck with his stick that Saville possesses the others simply don’t at this time. Saville should get plenty of starts in the AHL this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if he pushes Jiri Patera for the starting role.
  • Brendan Brisson has improved as a passer and playmaker.
    • There wasn’t a single power play for his team in the two games in which he played so we didn’t get to see his most dangerous weapon, but Brisson made an impact with his precise passing. Coming off watching a playoff run that ended in the Stanley Cup, accurate passing is something I’ve kind of taken for granted, but then watching prospects play you see the importance of it.  Brisson was excellent setting up his teammates multiple times for good looks. Can’t say I’m fully convinced he’s ready to take an NHL spot away from a guy like Paul Cotter or Pavel Dorofeyev, but this is the closest I’ve ever felt.
  • Daniil Chayka is a rock.
    • After four periods of not really noticing him I decided to really focus on his game in the final two periods, and I was impressed. He broke up a number of plays in the neutral zone, was excellent on and off the puck in the D-zone, and activated multiple times offensively but wasn’t found by teammates. I’ve always believed he has a good shot at being an NHLer, I’m pretty convinced of it now.
  • Two roster invitees impressed me, one in each game. Scrimmage 1 it was Robbie Fromm-DeLorme and scrimmage 2 it was Jayden Lee.
    • Fromm-DeLorme is a WHL player who went undrafted and is known as an energy type guy. He looked like much more than that in the first scrimmage as he was consistently driving the play for his team. Passing, forechecking, hustle, IQ, hands, I liked all of it from him. Unfortunately, he got hurt in the second game and missed a chunk of it.
    • Jayden Lee, a four year defenseman at Quinnipiac, was uber confident on the puck. He dusted multiple guys at the blue line and even poked in a rebound goal in the first game. Despite scoring in Scrimmage 1, he was better in the second one. It’s hard to describe beyond, he just looked like he’s better at this sport than pretty much everyone else.
  • Daniel D’Amato is close.
    • The Henderson Silver Knight who has been around multiple camps with the Golden Knights continues to stand out every time he’s on the ice. There’s still a bit of skill lacking in his game which is why I wouldn’t project him to be ready to break through to the NHL any time soon, but this kid can really play. He’s noticeable in all three zones and has a very strong stick. I expect him to have a good year in Henderson and potentially start to take steps towards moving upward.
  • Mathieu Cataford was the most impressive 2023 Draft pick
    • He just seems to have a nose for the puck and for the goal. His skating looked good especially through the neutral zone and he was typically in the right place for rebounds. I’m always extremely careful to judge the guys that were picked last week in their first Development Camp, but I’ve definitely got my eyes on him moving forward.

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)

SKATERS

(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.**

GOALIES 

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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.

 

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