In celebration of the start of the 2020-21 college hockey season, Sports Illustrated profiled the top 100 NCAA players to watch. The Golden Knights were represented by five of their own prospects in SI’s list.
At #24 was Vegas’ newest 1st round prospect Brendan Brisson (Michigan), 2018 draft pick Brandon Kruse (Bowling Green) was listed at #25, and another 2018 pick Peter Diliberatore (Quinnipiac) ranked #31. Defensive prospect Layton Ahac (Ohio State) came in at #43, and lastly, goaltender Isiah Saville (Nebraska-Omaha) was slotted in at #54 by Sports Illustrated.
For some of the Golden Knights prospects, this is a big NCAA season. Junior Peter Diliberatore has his eyes on capturing Quinnipiac‘s second school title, while Layton Ahac and Brendan Brisson chase a Frozen Four title for their Big Ten schools. All three universities are ranked in the nation’s top 15 teams.
In the SinBin.vegas Prospect Rankings, goalies are always listed last. So, today we decided to bring the new goalie rankings to the forefront by giving them a post of their own. So, here goes.
Criteria to qualify for rankings:
Must be younger than 23 years old
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.
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.
2) Dylan Ferguson Acquired: via Trade from Dallas Stars with 2020 2nd Round Pick for Marc Methot (selected in 2017 Entry Draft, 7th Round, #194 overall) Age: 20 (September 20, 1998) Most Recent Team: Kamloops Blazers (WHL) Previous Ranking: #2
The one aspect of Ferguson’s game that shows up the most when watching him is his compete level. He looks like he wants to save every single shot, no matter the situation or likelihood he should actually save it. In the scrimmage that he was able to play in Development Camp (he was hurt and missed the final two), it appeared like he was planning on winning the game singlehandedly for his team. The intensity is there, his style is aggressive, and he’s getting more and more consistent. For a smaller guy, his ability to look big inside of the goal is impressive and his athleticism is exciting. It appears like the Golden Knights’ plan for Ferguson is to hand him the reigns as the backup in Chicago, which says a lot about what the organization thinks of him as well.
More on Ferguson
1/8/19 – Ferguson has put up similar numbers to his other seasons in the WHL saving a little over 90% of shots. Due to his age he seems to be a bit further along than Kooy but the physical tools aren’t as promising. Don’t forget that he was the first to sign a contract, he was specifically targeted by VGK in a trade and he was seemingly the highest rated goalie in rookie camp. It’s neck and neck with Kooy but ties are no fun so Dylan drops down a spot.
9/12/18 – Ferguson didn’t play in any of the rookie games, which in theory should be a bad thing. Instead though, it indicates the Golden Knights rank him the highest, by giving him the first preseason game rather than a rookie game. We’ll heed VGK’s rankings and leave him atop the list.
7/28/18 – You might remember young Dylan from his short stint with the Golden Knights, but you should remember him from his solid showing at Development Camp. He looked confident in the goal, something he didn’t look while in the net in Edmonton or even at Development Camp in 2017. Ferguson has a little bit of an edge to him, and it seems to translate to confidence and swagger on the ice. Plus, he’s awesome interacting with kid fans when he comes off the ice.
Krebs is an elite talent who tore his Achilles tendon in early June. He was projected as a potential top-five pick but fell all the way to #17. Krebs is a 200-foot player that is a playmaker and described as a “constant difference maker.” He’s a two-way center who played on one of the worst teams in the WHL, yet he still put up 86 points.
Krebs is an excellent passer who has terrific vision as well. He’s a high-end skater who has very good speed and good burst. He’s also described as a player with excellent creativity.
Krebs was the captain of his WHL team the Kootenay Ice. He was also the captain of the Team Canada U18 team. Krebs led both teams in points.
Vegas was one of the meetings that I came out of and I felt really good about. They felt like family from the get go and so happy to be picked by them. -Krebs
I absolutely love Krebs game. I’ve said thi all year long. He drives the bus. He’s a line driver. Think Turcotte light. #NHLDraft
He’s a very mature kid. He does everything possible off ice to make himself better. He goes full out effort all the time on the ice. He’s skilled, he can skate, he can make so many plays. I expect him to be an explosive top-six forward in the NHL. –James Patrick, Winnipeg Ice coach to The Athletic
"I wanted to go to a place where I get the shivers every time I walk in the building. So, I think Vegas will do that. I'm pretty pumped." – Krebs on his excitement to play in Vegas. #VegasBorn
A well-rounded defenseman who skates well for his size. He’s steady in all areas and is considered one of the best defensive defenseman available in this Draft. He’s a 6’3″ right-handed defenseman who is very strong physically.
The Golden Knights traded up, ahead of Minnesota and Chicago to select Korczak forfeiting one of their 3rd round picks to make the deal happen.
"Just a steady reliable guy on the back end. I’ll take guys like him every year." -NHL Scout "No real weakness and I think he's just scratching the surface. I see a lot of room to grow.” -NHL Scout
Dorofeyev is a skilled forward with a deadly shot. He is said to be very calm with the puck and has the ability to create time and space while holding the puck. He has a sneaky release on his shot which can be deceptive to many goalies.
He’s listed at 167 pounds, becoming the lightest forward the Golden Knights have ever selected.