Las Vegas–Fresh off of their 1st ever development camp in franchise history that was a complete success for the organization and their fans Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee continued to add the depth of the team signing 6 to the family.
According to CapFriendly.com every player that signed yesterday with Vegas inked the NHL minimum of $650k. However, CapFriendly has Hunt listed under the Golden Knights as an NHL roster contract player.
Vegas Knights of The Roundtable will take an in-depth look each signing by the Golden Knights. First up is defenseman Brad Hunt.
Hunt has had an interesting player career over the course of 6 seasons playing in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves and Oklahoma City Barons. His career also includes time in the NHL with Edmonton, St. Louis, and Nashville.
In the AHL he’s experienced more success as far as point production in goals and assists. Over the span of 257 games played in the American League, he recorded 57 goals, 152 assists for 209 points.
That has yet to translate to the big show with the NHL clubs he’s played for the in past campaigns. With 33 games to his credit, he’s only been able to produce 3 goals, 7 assists for 9 points.
He originally signed his first NHL rated contract with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2013 season.
Hunt also brings with him championship hardware to the family from Bemidji State University in the 2008-09 season (NCAA CHA Title).
With Hunt, he can contribute on offense at low levels in point production, he also an offensive minded defenseman who has a big shot from the point which is something needed when the team is on the power play. He is a puck moving defenseman who has the ability and skill set to get out of trouble and never gives up.
Ask a Baron: Brad Hunt
St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators 12-13-16 Brad Hunt PPG
Hunt: “You can’t ask for a better team to play for than the St. Louis Blues”
Hunt’s Playing Career Stats
Next up is Chris Casto is another blueliner that McPhee signed on with the organization.
Casto has been gaining ton’s of playing experience down on the farm in the ECHL and AHL leagues with South Carolina Stingrays who are the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Capitals and the Providence Bruins who are the AHL partner to the original 6 franchise Boston Bruins.
In a span of 245 games with the AHL Bruins, he’s produced 12 goals, 46 assists for 58 points. Last season with Providence Casto’s Bruins went as far as the Eastern Conference Finals in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
In his 16 games played in the playoffs, he registered 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists).
According to the experts, Casto is considered to be a defenseman who is in the work in progress category.
They say that in the sport of hockey the defenseman has the longest learning curve when it comes proper development which requires time spent in the minors or in other development programs to hone their craft before they are ready to compete for an NHL roster spot.
Case in point with Brannstrom after yesterday’s post development camp he talked about things he needs to work on (adding more weight, his explosiveness, and others). He also said he feels he needs a couple of years to accomplish this properly.
With Casto, he stills need to work on his consistency regardless of the fact that he’s been a plus player, in the AHL he is +28. He is very active during plays on the ice which is good to have on your team. Casto has the potential upside to be a good two-way player in the NHL someday.
Chris Casto vs Steve Oleksy Apr 21, 2016
Dana Tyrell vs Chris Casto Mar 7, 2015
Jason Jaffray vs Chris Casto Jan 24, 2014
Casto’s Playing Career Stats
Up next we take a dive look into goaltender Maxime Lagace.
The last 3 seasons, Lagace has been honing his craft between the pipes in the ECHL and AHL with the Texas Stars, Missouri Mavericks (former ECHL Condors), and Idaho Steelheads.
With 39 ECHL games to his credit, he averaged a GAA of 2.93 and a .895 save percentage which is not so he will need to improve both areas in Chicago with the Wolves under HC Rocky Thompson.
According to the experts who have watched Lagace over his short professional playing career has development grade of a C- which is accepted given his stats in both GAA and save percentage.
The scouts have identified that Lagace needs to the work on all areas of his which includes reading the puck, defending his crease, not cheating both ends of the net, and his reaction time between the pipes. He has a long way to go before he can become a starting netminder for an NHL club down the road.
At some point in his career, he’ll be able to train and work with fellow goalies, Jiri Patera and Maksim Zhukov who were recently draft by Vegas in this year’s NHL Draft Class. Patera and Zhukov recently participated in the first development camp in franchise history with the Golden Knights.
Goalie Maxime Lagace of the Texas Stars
Lagace’s Playing Career Stats
We segway into the offensive side of the game with forward Paul Thompson.
Since the 2010-11 hockey season, Thompson has been spending time in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, (the former Springfield Falcons), Albany Devils, and the new Springfield Thunderbirds organization. He’s also spent time down in the ECHL since then and played for the Wheeling Nailers.
Over the span of 380 games in the AHL, he’s recorded 104 goals, 100 assists for 204 points which a 0.54 ppg average. He also brings with them to the organization 46 Calder Cup Playoff games to his credit which includes 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points.
Signed his 1st ELC with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2011 season on March 11.
With Thompson, he has a good size to his 6’1” frame at 198 pounds. He brings to the table the nack of the scoring touch which is good for any team to have and plays on the power play. Thompson does not shy away from shooting the puck (he prefers the shoot first mindset on the ice) which is needed in your lineup of forwards.
He can compliment to the bottom six unit with his offensive production in-depth scoring. That is his development ceiling. Thompson can play on either the 3rd or 4th line.
Thompson has the skill set as decent stick handler and likes to chip in offensively with scoring in traffic situations, can crash the net to score those garbage type goals which is something that the game is played these days.
His weaknesses are his skating in terms of speed and mobility which he’ll be able to work on under Thompson and his coaching staff with the Wolves this upcoming season. If he has a breakthrough in development this year he can transition to the NHL which has been elusive to him to play up there on a regular basis.
Happy Birthday Highlights: Paul Thompson
Mike Fisher vs. Paul Thompson on 01/06/2017
Thompson’s Playing Career Stats
On to Stefan Matteau who comes from hockey bloodlines with former NHLer Stéphane Matteau. Matteau’s father was selected at 25th overall (2nd round pick) in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by Calgary and has gone on to have an impressive career in the league which was highlighted from a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers.
He’s also played for the following clubs over his NHL career with the Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, and Florida Panthers.
Back to the younger Matteau. Stefan was originally selected by New Jersey Devils at 29th overall in the 2012 entry draft. For Matteau, has had the chance to play in both the AHL and NHL with both Devils organizations (Albany and New Jersey), Montréal Canadiéns, and St. Johns IceCaps (AHL).
With 196 AHL games to his credit, Matteau has produced 37 goals, 41 assists for 78 points which a 0.40 ppg average. His time in the NHL includes 56 games that include 3 goals, 3 assists for 6 points. These numbers will need to improve in order for him to stay in the NHL long term.
The scouts have identified Mattaeu as a prototypical power forward which is rare given that the current game is going away from that type of player. He has the size at 6’2” at 220 pounds which are highlighted by his way of playing physical style type game on the ice.
He major asset in that regard is he likes to hit hard during his shifts. Matteau has okay hands which can improve over time. Has the ability to provide that balance with his fellow forwards on his team.
Overall he is considered to be a solid player. In Chicago, he’ll be able to improve his power forward upside to his game. He will also need to work on his discipline (his AHL career stats in PIM’s is 232).
Stefan Matteau | 2013-14 Season Highlights
Here’s to hoping that the younger Matteau can have success like his dad did in the NHL someday.
Stephane Matteau Matteau Matteau
Matteau’s Playing Career Stats
The last man on the list of newly signed players is forward T.J. Tynan. With Tynan theres already a Vegas connection thru Golden Knights Assistant Coach Ryan Craig. Craig and Tynan played together on the 2016 Calder Cup Champion team the Lake Erie Monsters that defeated the Hershey Bears in the finals in 4 game series sweep in epic overtime fashion in front of sellout crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.
Tynan brings two pieces of championship hardware with him to the Vegas Golden Knights organization with his 2012 NCAA CCHA Champion with Notre Dame and the aforementioned 2016 Calder Cup Championship in 2016.
He brings with him to the organization 226 AHL games to his credit that includes 31 goals, 104 assists for 135 points which are 0.60 ppg average.
Just like this year’s 1st ever draft selection Cody Glass, Tynan is also a playmaker who like to pass the puck to his wingers that execute with speed up the ice.
At his smaller frame of 5’9” vs Thompson’s 6’2” size, Tynan counters that with his grittiness and does not shy away from sacrificing his body in front of the net.
The potential upside for him is that he can develop into a solid bottom six forward and can be called upon on the penalty kill.
12-7-12 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State Highlights
Tynan’s Playing Career Stats