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Tag: Zack Hayes

Zack Hayes’ Wild Ride To His NHL Debut

(Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights Twitter)

At this point in his hockey career Zack Hayes is probably used to being overlooked. A 9th round pick in the WHL bantam draft, Hayes played 272 games over five seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders. Despite being eligible multiple times, Hayes went undrafted in the NHL Draft.

In 2019, he was invited to participate in Development Camp with the Anaheim Ducks where he actually played in a game against Golden Knights prospects. That camp came and went, and he remained unsigned as he returned to Price Albert.

Then, finally, on April 6th, 2020 Hayes was offered his first professional contract, an AHL deal with the Silver Knights. He worked his way into a three-year entry level deal with Vegas and as recently as this preseason appeared to be on track to be one of the first defensemen called up if/when the Golden Knights needed one.

That time came quickly for Vegas, needing a D-man in the fifth game of the season. The selection was Daniil Miromanov, not Zack Hayes. As the season wore on, the Golden Knights needed player after player but they called up Kaedan Korczak, Brayden Pachal, and Derrick Pouliot, and still not Hayes.

It had to start feeling like his time would never come.

Then, out of nowhere, it did.

I was just sitting on the bus waiting, getting comfortable for the five hour bus trip to San Diego. I knew Miro(manov), Paul (Cotter) and Ronny (Rondbjerg) got called up so they were driving to the airport right away and all of a sudden Andrew Doty (HSK video coach) comes on the bus and he’s like ‘you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go get your stuff right now.’ -Hayes

So, Hayes rushed off the bus, grabbed his gear from the team trailer, and waited outside of Lifeguard Arena, the Silver Knights’ practice facility, for his ride to take him to the airport.

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Observations On Every Player Who Put On A VGK Sweater At The Rookie Faceoff – Defensemen & Goalies

Golden Knights rookies spent the weekend in Phoenix competing in three games against fellow rookie squads from the Coyotes, Sharks, and Kings. A total of 25 players suited up for Vegas, here’s are my observations on every single one of them.


(Photo Credit: Robert Schneidmiller,

Daniil Chayka (3 games, 1LD, 1 LD, 1LD)

Chayka was steady but never really seemed to get his footing adding any offense. In his own end, he was able to use his strong frame to push guys off the puck as well as protect it when he had it. The decision-making could probably have been a bit quicker, though it got better as the weekend wore on. For a first impression, there was a lot more good than bad.

Kaedan Korczak (2 games, 1RD, 1 RD)

As expected, Korczak looked like he was on another level compared to almost everyone else on the ice. He was calm on the puck, quick in retrieval, and always made the right decisions. There’s probably never going to be much offense in his game, but his willingness to push the puck up the ice will certainly generate chances for his teammates in the future.

Artur Cholach (3 games, 2LD, 2LD, 3 LD)

The first game he looked a step behind pretty much everyone rushing at him, but as the games continued he was able to gain his footing and improved. The concern about his ability to get to pucks and get them off his stick quickly enough to succeed at this level remains though. Overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend for him, but it was far from great.

Lukas Cormier (2 games, 2RD, 2RD)

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Two AHL Signings; Who Are Jake McLaughlin And Zack Hayes?

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since the NHL hit the pause button 26 days ago, the Golden Knights have conducted two pieces of business. Well, technically the Henderson Blank Blanks conducted the business, but you get my point.

Both moves involved the signing of undrafted free agent defensemen to AHL contracts.

First, the Golden Knights announced the addition of Jake McLaughlin from UMass Amherst. McLaughlin played four years in the NCAA improving in +/- and capping out at 14 points in 34 games this season.

McLaughlin is a 6’2″, 190 pound, left-handed stay-at-home defenseman. He led his team in blocks two of his four seasons. UMass was an impressive 10-1-1 when McLaughlin scored at least one point. He attended 2018 Development Camp with the Chicago Blackhawks.

McLaughlin reportedly received offers from multiple AHL teams before selected Vegas (or really Henderson). Speaking on a recent podcast, he detailed the moment he learned Vegas was interested.

I was with my cousins in a car. I get this call from a random number; Las Vegas. And I’m like, ‘what the hell?’ So I answer it and he says, ‘you know who this is?’ (I said,) ‘No.’ He said his name, he said I’m blah blah blah from the Vegas Golden Knights. And I’m like oh shit this is legit. So I talked to the guy and he made his pitch to me. He said there’s going to be opportunity with this new team and we really like you. So I was on the phone with him for 15-20 minutes. –Jake McLaughlin to Moousecast Podcast

**It was probably Mike Levine, director of amateur free agents, that called him.**

A few days later he signed. McLaughlin says George McPhee called him after he signed. They told him Development Camp is scheduled for late June but it’s hard to tell if that will happen or not.

McLaughlin went undrafted when he was eligible and says he wasn’t receiving a lot of attention throughout the season, but according to he “transformed himself into one of the most reliable players in college hockey.”

The other signing was completed yesterday. That was Zack Hayes, a 20-year-old defenseman who was playing in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders.

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