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What The Golden Knights Look For In A Draft Pick (Part II)

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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.

  1. Most used style traits (Two-way, skilled, long-stride, strong, good vision, quickness, etc)
  2. Less frequently used style traits (All-Situations, Transition, Possession, Work-Ethic, Hands, Forecheck, etc)
  3. Skating ability
  4. Height/Weight
  5. League
  6. Age

Note: I don’t go too in-depth in describing the players because you really should buy the NHL Black Book and Draft Recrutes prospect guides, they are terrific.)

1st Round

Philip Tomasino
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.

Alex Newhook
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

2nd Round 

Layton Ahac
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.

Simon Holmstrom
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.

Ryan Johnson
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.

Vlad Kolyachonok
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)

Aaron Huglen
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.

Shane Pinto
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.

Carter Berger
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.

Leevi Aaltonen
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.

Owen Lindmark
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

Late Rounds
Jack Millar, Kristian Tanus, Maxence Guenette

If I get any of these right, it’ll be a miracle, but hey, worth a shot right?


What The Golden Knights Look For In A Draft Pick (Part I)


Sheng Peng: Mark Stone Has A Chance To Buck The Trend And Win A Selke For The Wingers


  1. John

    am i crazy to wish for Knight? i know it is supposedly stupid to draft a goalie in round 1 but hey, im a sucker for a good story. I think we should take the kid.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    Perron, Neal and Haula, although goal scorers, where far, far ,far from two way players. They hardly back checked at all, they all got terrible strat ratings of 1 or 2 for defense on a scale of 1 to 4 , with rare 5’s given (federov got a 5 way back in 90s).…0.0..……0….1..gws-wiz-img.nNtzLwq5HIQ#imgdii=NDuQqNysjdj05M:&imgrc=HC9KqowmUUGK4M:

  3. scmitty 88

    I have seen huglen play smart player good hands

  4. schitty 88

    huglen good hands smart player

  5. schmitty 88

    golden knights fan from Minnesota what is the local buzz on wild bill and cody eakin and bellmare

  6. schmitty 88

    I have seen huglen play a couple times good with the puck smart player

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