In Part I, we identified what the Golden Knights looks for in a player, now it’s time to try and figure out which draft-eligible players in 2019 fit the mold.
In trying to identify players I had to rank what I thought was most valued by the team. Here’s the order of criteria I came up with.
- Most used style traits (Two-way, skilled, long-stride, strong, good vision, quickness, etc)
- Less frequently used style traits (All-Situations, Transition, Possession, Work-Ethic, Hands, Forecheck, etc)
- Skating ability
Forward, Niagara (OHL), 6’0″, 183 lbs
Tomasino checks almost every single box. You can’t find a preview on this kid that doesn’t include it saying that he’s a two-way player that can do it all on the ice. He’s a good skater who is terrific on the forecheck as well. He’s the right size, he plays the right position, he uses the right hand, he comes from the right league, and he’s the right age. He looks like the perfect fit for Vegas.
Forward, Victoria (BCHL), 5’10”, 195 lbs
Another player that scouts can’t make it a full paragraph without calling a two-way player. He’s often described as explosive and deceptive and his ability to put pressure on defensemen makes him a great fit in the Golden Knights system.
Likely unavailable but fit: Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs
Defenseman, Prince George (BCHL), 6’2″, 188 lbs
I nearly put him in the 1st round group because he fits what the Golden Knights are looking for incredibly well. He’s an all-around defensive player who takes care of his own end and jumps into the rush whenever possible. He’s an excellent puck-handler and skates well for his size. If this guy is there three times for the Golden Knights, I’d be shocked if they pass on him.
Forward, HV 71 Jr. (Sweden), 6’1″, 183 lbs
Holmstrom is a player that slipped in the rankings due to injuries. The Golden Knights have shown a willingness to pick a player that drops due to injury and hope they can grab a steal. He’s the exact type of player Vegas likes though, described as a two-way player with dynamic offensive upside.
Defenseman, Sioux Falls (USHL), 6’0″, 173 lbs
He’s described as the modern mobile defenseman. Vegas has a number of these types in the system, but adding another one that’s on the younger side can never hurt. What jumped out most on Johnson is his skating. The Golden Knights love a defenseman who can skate, and he’d be right up there with the group they already have.
Defenseman, Flint (OHL), 6’0″, 176
Similar to Johnson, the skating is the key with Kolyachonok. He also showed out very well in interviews by multiple accounts. Vegas loves a good “character guy” and he may just be it.
Middle Rounds (3rd through 5th)
Forward, Roseau (Minnesota High School), 5’11”, 166 pounds
He’s all about upside especially having played almost exclusively against lower competition. However, he was good at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and scored a highlight goal. In the past, the Golden Knights have shown an affinity towards players that do well in big international tournaments.
Forward, Lincoln (USHL), 6’2″, 192 lbs
Scouts liked the way he interviewed and he did a lot for a poor team in the USHL. Based on profiles I’ve read, he’s a player scouts seem to vary drastically on. Some love him, others hate him, which means he could be an early pick or slip real late. Just depends if Vegas is one of the teams that likes him.
Defenseman, Victoria (BCHL), 6’0″, 200 lbs
A two-way defenseman whose best skill is walking the line and getting shots through. He also does well controlling the puck in all three zones. He also played with Newhook on a power-play unit. They’ve never picked two players from the same team, but maybe they think about it in this draft.
Forward, Kalpa Jr. (Finland), 5’9″, 177 lbs
This kid probably falls more under the Ken likes him as much as the Golden Knights like him, but his skill and skating jump out in the profiles for a player that could be around in the middle to late rounds. He played in all situations though, so that’s enough for me to put him here.
Forward, USNTDP, 6’0″, 184 lbs
The term savvy came up with Lindmark multiple times in describing him as a two-way center. It reminded me a bit of the Jonas Rondbjerg’s and Paul Cotter’s of the world.
Honorable mentions: Massimo Rizzo, Roman Bychov, Antti Saarela, Jack Malone
Jack Millar, Kristian Tanus, Maxence Guenette
If I get any of these right, it’ll be a miracle, but hey, worth a shot right?