Las Vegas–Today after the Vegas Golden Knights and General Manager George McPhee grabbed C Cody Glass, C Nick Suzuki, and D Erik Brannstrom in the opening round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, McPhee, and his team were back it building towards the future of the franchise.
In any hockey clubs history, you build the foundation of your organization at the draft. This provides your club the opportunity to fill those cupboards for the farm system. So without further ado lets recap of today’s activity of who McPhee selected as the newest members of the family.
The Golden Knights with their opening pick of day 2 of the entry draft selected another defenseman to go along with 1st round draftee Brannstrom. At the 34th overall selection Vegas picked d-man Nicolas Hague.
Hague spent the 2016-2017 season with the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL. There he played in 65 games with his former junior club and recorded 18 goals and tallied 28 assists for 46 points.
In any teams quest to go far in the playoffs you need offensive support from your back end.
The former Steelhead blueliner is reported at 6’6” and weighs in at 214 pounds which a very good sized defenseman coming from juniors. Hague’s height is taller than any current defenseman on the Golden Knights roster.
Defenseman’s Brayden McNabb, Griffin Reinhart, and Clayton Stoner are currently on VGK’s roster listed at 6’4”.
An important note to consider is that 1st round pick defenseman Brannstrom is listed 5’9”. With Hague significant size advantage over Brannstrom he also more physical than the Swedish blueliner.
Hague size is in terms of height is similar to that of San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns who is listed at 6’5”.
For more on Hague, click here.
Hague’s Junior Career Stats
Nicolas Hague 2015-16 Highlights Mississauga Steelheads
Analytics Data On Nicolas Hague
Several selections later the Golden Knights were up on the clock yet again. However, their 2nd second round pick was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange Vegas received on the return end, Keegan Kolesar. Kolesar is still rated as an NHL prospect player who can either play in the NHL or AHL this coming season.
Kolesar is listed on 6’2” and 255 pounds and he plays on the right wing side of the ice.
For the newest member of the Golden Knights family, Kolesar was originally selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in the 3rd round at 69th overall.
Kolesar Junior Career Stats
According to the table above he’s likely to start off the upcoming season with the Golden Knights AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves.
Keegan is another player coming to the Golden Knights family with some hardware as he won the WHL Championship (Ed Chynoweth Cup) last season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. For the Thunderbirds organization, this was their first time in club history to capture the title.
Keegan Kolesar 2014-15 Season Highlights
Analytics Data On Keegan Kolesar
Nearly 20 picks later at the 62nd overall selection Vegas return to adding players in the draft by choosing C Jake Leschyshyn to complete the 2nd round of picks.
Like Brannstrom, Leschyshyn comes from hockey bloodlines as well. His father Chris was a member of the Colorado Avanlanche team that won the 1996 Stanley Cup over the Florida Panthers in a 4 games series sweep.
Leschyshyn’s dad spent 1,033 career NHL games with the following clubs, Quebec Nordiques, Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators.
For the new Leschyshyn he played for the WHL’s Regina St. Pats last season where he skated in 47 games. In that span he recorded 17 goals and added 23 assists for 40 points.
So both Leschyshyn’s can share a common thing amongst each other as being part of an expansion in the professional playing careers.
For more on Leschyshyn click here.
Leschyshyn Junior Career Stats
Highlight Reel Jake Leschyshyn
Analytics Data On Jake Leschysyn
Vegas’s next pick came at the 65th overall selection when McPhee drafted right winger Jonas Røndbjerg from Denmark.
Røndbjerg was McPhee’s first selection at the winger position in the draft after previously selecting 2 center’s and 2 defenseman. He was also their 3rd round pick of the draft.
For Røndbjerg he spent that last season playing in Sweden with Voxjo Lakers HC in the Swedish Hockey League, he also suited for their J18 and J20 clubs. In those three squads, Rondbjerg played in 48 games and produced 10 goals, added 22 assists for 32 points.
For more on Rønbjerg click here.
Røndbjerg Junior Career Stats
Jonas Røndbjerg 2014-15
After taking forwards and defenseman with their previous selections Vegas decided to change things up and pick goaltender Maksim Zhukov from the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers.
Zhukov played the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers during the last season where he provided solid numbers between the pipes posting a 2.25 GAA and .913 save percentage over the course of 31 games. He season record with Green Bay last year was 19-8-1. Zhukov also registered 4 shutouts that year with the Gamblers.
In the same year, Zhukov suited in the 2018 WJC-18 tournament for Russia where he played in 5 games and posted a .926 save percentage and 2.63 GAA.
Zhukov’s best assets is his size (he’s reported at 6’3” and 181 pounds), glove hand, and quick on his skates. In the NHL as a netminder you need to be quick on your toes.
Zhukov’s Junior Career Stats
Maksim Zhukov Highlights vs Lincoln Stars Oct 28 2016
At the 127th overall pick of the draft McPhee went back and selected a forward in Lucas Elvenes from Sweden.
Elvenes skated for the Rögle last season with their main club in the SHL and in both J18 and SuperElit squads. In 54 games played with those clubs he recorded 15 goals and tallied 30 assists for 45 points.
In his junior playing career, he’s played with fellow Golden Knights defenseman Brannstrom in international tournament action for Team Sweden.
For more on Elvenes click here. Kovalev was good player in the own right as he captured with 1994 Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers.
Elvenes Junior Career Stats
Lucas Elvenes #12 – U18 Highlights
15 picks later Vegas selected at 142nd overall in the draft F Jonathan Dugan. Dugan is a Pittsburgh native at 19 years of age, is listed at 6’2” and 185 pounds.
In the USHS (United States High School League), Dugan played for Northwood School Junior for the last two seasons. Over the course of 96 games he scored 56 goals and tallied 90 assists for 146 points.
He’s slated to attend the NCAA Providence College hockey program for the upcoming campaign. The Friars are a member of the big collegiate hockey hotbed Hockey East Conference.
To those around him, he prefers to be called “Jack”.
Potential upside to his game as he continues to grow. He models his game after Dallas Star Captain Jamie Benn. Dugan also target’s his style of play to Penguins Captain Sydney Crosby.
Dugan’s Junior Career Stats
Jack Dugan #12 Rochester Monarchs 16U
16 picks down the line at 158th overall Vegas grabbed North York Rangers F Nick Campoli.
Campoli has played in the OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League) for the last two campaigns. He recorded 21 goals, 45 assists for 66 points over 57 games. He also played in 15 playoff games with North York and produced 5 goals, 7 assists for 12 points.
He is committed to Clarkson University this upcoming season to play for and get this their Golden Knights hockey team.
The Clarkson Golden Knights program are a member of the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference), which is another colleigate hockey hot bed in the United States. They are also part of the Ivy League Division on the East Coast.
He’s a hard working player and is a good skater who doesn’t shy away to get dirty when needed and is considered to be a buzzsaw around the net. Campoli has a powerful stride which enables him to generate that power up the ice in straigth line fashion.
Campoli’s ability and skillset allows him to move around the ice at above average speed. In addition, Campoli also applies his hockey IQ and sense to read and react plays on the ice and enables him to have success in all three zones.
For more on Campoli click here.
Campoli’s Junior Career Stats
Three picks later at 161st overall McPhee snagged goalie Jiri Patera.
Last season in the Czech Republic, Patera played in 42 games with both the U18 and U20 squads. His GAA during that span was 2.44 and a .927 save precentage.
Patera among goalies was ranked at #4 in the NHL Central Scouting. Being in the top 5 scouting should good however on NHL.com they have is potential development grade a C. With proper development, Patera could become more that just a C rated player.
Patera’s Junior Career Stats
The last pick of the draft for the Golden Knights came at the 189th overall selection with C Ben Jones.
Jones skated with the Niagara IceDogs in the OHL for the course of 124 games. With Niagara he scored 18 goals, 41 assists for 59 points. His 37 assists last year with the IceDogs was an OHL career high for him.
Ben is another player to come to organization with championship hardware as he won the OHL Championship in 2015 with the Toronto Marlboros.
With 2-way center upside, Jones is very good on face offs, plays a phyiscal game, doesn’t yeild to getting dirty out there on the ice and likes to score goals close to the net. Jones’s ability at skating is very good with decent speed and has good hockey sense and vision.
Jones skillset with the puck is very good and is a great teammate. A good asset that Jones brings to the table is his shot which is considered to be very accurate and has an excellent release.
Jones’s Junior Career Stats
Ben Jones 2G 2A vs 67’s Jan 12 2017
Analytics Data On Ben Jones
Enjoy this post day 2 recap Golden Knights fans and please help me in welcoming the newest members of the family to Vegas!!!