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Vegas Golden Knights Select Eight Players in 2018 NHL Entry Draft

by Vegas Golden Knights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

DALLAS, TEXAS (June 23, 2018) - The Vegas Golden Knights made eight selections on the second and final day of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The selections were announced by Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee.

Below is a list of Golden Knights' draft selections in rounds 2-7 with quotes from select players.

2nd round, Pick 61
Ivan Morozov
, Forward
Country: Russia
Hometown: Verkhnyaya Salda, Russia
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 178 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: Khanty Mansiysk (Russia-Jr.)
Shoots: Right

Notes:

  • Posted five points in five games with Team Russia at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championships
  • Scored 11 goals and added 12 assists in 30 games for Mamonty Yugry of the Russian Junior league before joining Khanty Mansiysk
  • Models his play after Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov

 

Round 4, Pick 99
Stanislav Demin
, Defense
Country: USA
Hometown: Cyprus, California
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: Wenatchee Wild (BCHL)
Shoots: Left

Notes:

  • Scored nine goals and dished out 36 assists for 45 points in 57 games with the Wenatchee Wild in 2017-18
  • Added two goals and five assists in 20 playoff games for Wenatchee
  • Committed to play at the University of Denver next season

Thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Vegas Golden Knights…
It's an unbelievable experience. You only get this experience once in your life. So, it's pretty cool to go through it. Going to Vegas, it's a new organization and they had an unbelievable season. They were up there in the Stanley Cup Final, so it's just super cool to be part of an organization that has done so well right from the get go. Seeing their players from the expansion draft and what they want in their players. It's unbelievable.

Thoughts on what part of your game are you most proud and think will help you continue to develop, especially in Denver next season…
I think my biggest asset is my skating. So, just move my feet and use that all over the ice and being able to get up in the play and defend. So, I will use my feet in the rush and be able to play in all situations. I think that's my biggest asset and going to be a huge help when I step into Denver when I am playing against bigger and stronger competition.

Thoughts on what aspect of your game you are looking to improve on in Denver…
Stepping into college you are playing against guys that are usually going to be older, bigger, and stronger than you, so being able to use your body more and you will be able to defend better and not just relying on your feet. Being a complete defender and rounding out my offensive game and just overall getting better as a player, making sure I am doing everything that I can to improve.

Thoughts on what player in the NHL do you model your game after…
I think I watch a lot of Roman Josi. I think he is a guy that I try to model my game after. He is a really good player and I have watched a lot of him.

Thoughts on someone who has had the most impact of your growth as a hockey player…
Both of my parents have been a huge impact in that aspect in my life. Both of them did whatever they had to do to make sure I was always having fun at the rink and they have sacrificed a bunch of hours and so much money to do what I had to do and help me get to this point. I wouldn't be here without them.

Thoughts on your favorite hockey memory…
Going back to when I just started playing hockey, just being a little kid while you're having a blast and not really thinking about it. You are just enjoying the game so much and that's where I started to fall in love with it. Still to this day it is so much fun to play and today is an unbelievable day too.

Round 4, Pick 115
Paul Cotter
, Forward
Country: USA
Hometown: Canton, Michigan
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 191 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: Lincoln Stars (USHL)
Shoots: Left

Notes:

  • Finished fourth in scoring for the Lincoln Stars in 2017-18 with 39 points (18G, 21A) in 51 games
  • Led the Stars in playoff scoring with four goals and four assists in seven games
  • Committed to play at Western Michigan University in 2018-19

Thoughts on first thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Vegas Golden Knights…
I'm kind of speechless at this point. I think it's pretty much the same thing for everybody, but it's especially special to be a part of Vegas. They speak for themselves with them being an expansion team and their first year having so much success. I'm crazy excited to hopefully to get started and enjoy the process from here on out.

Thoughts on what part of your game are you most proud and think will help you continue to develop, especially heading over to Western Michigan next year…
I think just overall the NHL is getting bigger, faster and stronger. I know Western Michigan will be a great stepping stone and it should be a great opportunity for me. I think I definitely rely on my skill and speed to have success at Western and as I continue to progress. I think just using that physicality that has been a problem in my game and keeping leadership. I think those are good traits to help me move forward.

Thoughts on what aspect of your game you are looking to improve on…
I think I can improve on a lot. Defensive zone is probably the biggest thing I want to key in on and get better at.

Thoughts on what player in the NHL do you model your game after…
I think of Ryan Kelser and Patrice Bergeron. I have always been of fan of watching James Neal and Ilya Kovalchuk, but I don't think I can correlate to playing like them, but I'd say definitely Ryan Kelser and Patrice Bergeron.

Thoughts on what are some of the steps you took at Lincoln to get ready for the college game…
I think Lincoln is great. The atmosphere translates a lot, you are taking about a packed crowd every night that has got your back. We had a new coaching staff this year with Cody Chupp and the rest of the guys. So, we had a new system to take care and it was awesome to be a part of that. I think Lincoln helped me a lot with having a proper coaching staff and proper players to help me out.

Thoughts on your favorite hockey memory…
This definitely tops everything, but I have been in a number of shootouts. I think I can steer myself to be a shootout guy. I think every time you put the puck into the back of the net in a shootout it's exhilarating. Also, getting picked for the Junior A Challenge, but those two things are a great feeling throughout my career so far.

Round 5, Pick 135
Brandon Kruse
, Forward
Country: USA
Hometown: Saline, Michigan
Height: 5'9''
Weight: 154 lbs.
Age: 19
Drafted from: Bowling Green State University (WCHA)
Shoots: Left

Notes:

  • Skated in 41 games as a freshman at Bowling Green, collecting 33 points (8G, 21A)
  • Named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team
  • Finished fifth overall in scoring among freshman in the NCAA
  • General Manager George McPhee is a Bowling Green alumnus

Thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Vegas Golden Knights…
I was just out actually getting a bite to eat with one of my buddies. I was watching the draft there, I saw my name pop up, he was kind of freaking out and my stomach kind of dropped. Then just seeing Vegas and what they've done this year, I couldn't be any happier.

Thoughts on your strengths...
I think my speed and my skillset. Those have gotten me where I am today and I think they'll allow me to play at the next level as I continue to grow.

Thoughts on what you need to work on…
Probably just size and strength and then keep working on my shot. Obviously at the next level in the NHL those guys all have really good shots. Little things like size and strength and shooting pucks.

Thoughts on current NHL players you look up to…
Johnny Gaudreau. Kind of a smaller player and he's really skilled and works hard so I'd probably say I model my play after that.

Thoughts on someone that's helped you develop as a player…
I'd say my dad. He put me into hockey, he played college hockey growing up and, without him, I wouldn't be here today. He was my coach for the early years of my life playing hockey so I'd probably say my dad. He was a goalie at Michigan State for four years.

Thoughts on his favorite hockey memory…
Probably just being with my teammates playing college hockey. That was always a goal for me as a kid and just playing at Bowling Green this year. The whole year was spectacular.

Round 5, Pick 154
Connor Corcoran
, Defenseman
Country: Canada
Hometown: Markham, Ontario
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 185 lbs.
Age: 17
Drafted from: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Shoots: Right

Notes:

  • Anchored the blueline for the Spitfires in 2017-18 while accumulating three goals and 21 assists
  • Tied for the team lead in playoff scoring among defensemen with three points in six games
  • Skated in six games for Team Canada Black at the IIHF Under-17 World Hockey Championships in 2016-17

Thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Vegas Golden Knights…
It's something you dream of as a little kid and this moment will stick with me forever. Especially having my family here, it's just awesome having them by my side and them getting to experience it as well.

Thoughts on the strengths in your game…
I think my physical play and my compete level. I'm a shut-down D who can play at both ends of the ice and I hope that can be effective in Vegas.

Thoughts on what you need to work on…
Obviously, there's a lot of things to improve on. Going to the next level, you've got to get bigger, stronger, faster. I think I can also improve on getting more structure around the net and being more physical.

Thoughts on current NHL players he looks up to…
I'd say Matt Nisakanen on the Washington Capitals. He's a great shutdown D, he's a two-way D, he competes, he's hard-working, he's physical and he can also chip in on the penalty kill and power play as well.

Thoughts on people who have helped you develop as a player…
Definitely my parents. Also, a lot of coaches have helped me along the way, but at the top would definitely be my parents. All the sacrifices they've made for me, pushing me to my limits. I'm very thankful for them.

Thoughts on his favorite hockey memory…
Definitely last year winning the Memorial Cup. That's my greatest hockey moment, other than today.

Round 6, Pick 180
Peter Diliberatore
, Defenseman
Country: Canada
Hometown: Bedford, Nova Scotia
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 161 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: Salisbury Prep (USHS Prep)
Shoots: Left

Notes:

  • Collected 17 points in 28 games for Salisbury Prep in 2017-18
  • Committed to play at Quinnipiac University next season

Thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Golden Knights…
It feels amazing to be able to get drafted with my family here, the whole experience, it's just a surreal feeling.

Thoughts on the strengths in your game…
I think my skating, my IQ and my ability to improve every day. I think, on the ice, my skating and my IQ allows me to create plays and make things happen and my ability to want to improve every day is going to drive me to my goal of playing in the NHL.

Thoughts on what you need to work on…
My strength, my shooting, stuff like that. I can always improve my skating. With the speed of the game nowadays, everything needs to be improved and I'll be happy to work on all of those things.

Thoughts on current NHL players you look up to…
I'd say Erik Karlsson. I think he's a very strong skater and he brings that offensive ability too. He uses that skating ability to also put himself into good defensive position.

Thoughts on someone that's helped you develop as a player…
Definitely my parents, for sure. They've put me into rinks since the age of two. They've never complained about waking up at 5 a.m. to bring me to practices. So it's no doubt my parents.

Thoughts on his favorite hockey memory…
Favorite hockey memory was probably when I was around 12 or 13 in the peewee Quebec tournament when my team went, as the Jr. Mooseheads. We got to play in the Bell Centre in Quebec against the Jr. Montreal Canadiens and we played in front of about 9,000 fans when I was pretty young so I say that was probably my favorite.

Round 6, Pick 185
Xavier Bouchard
, Defenseman
Country: Canada
Hometown: Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Height: 6'4''
Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Shoots: Right


Notes:

  • Served as an assistant captain for Baie-Comeau in 2017-18, notching three goals and 18 assists in 65 games
  • Appeared in six games for Team Canada White at the IIHF Under-17 World Hockey Championship in 2016-17
  • Ranked 74 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Thoughts on getting drafted to the NHL by the Golden Knights…
I'm really excited to join the organization. Vegas had a really great run this year so I'm really looking forward to the camp and getting to know everyone on the staff.

Thoughts on the strengths in your game…
I think by biggest strength is my hockey sense. I'm a good two-way defenseman, great passer, smart player and I like to join the rush as well. I still need to improve my game a lot because the NHL is really fast-paced but I'm sure I can bring a lot of great things to Vegas.

Thoughts on what you need to work on…
The speed and maybe game management. Less turnovers and stuff like that. I know I have to work on my defensive game and I'll work on that for sure.

Thoughts on current NHL players you look up to…
I like to watch Seth Jones. I think he's a great model for me. He's a smart player, big guy who can skate. A good two-way defenseman and I like to watch and learn as much as I can from him.

Thoughts on someone who helped you develop as a player…
For sure my dad. He's been by my side since I was really young. He's a hockey coach in the QMJHL so he knows a lot about hockey and he's helped me out a lot over the years.

Thoughts on his favorite hockey memory…
I'd say getting drafted in the QMJHL. It's kind of the same thing as the NHL but a much smaller draft. It was fun to take a step in the QMJHL and meet my new team so that was exciting.

Round 7, Pick Pick 208
Jordan Kooy
, Goaltender
Country: Canada
Hometown: Bradford, Ontario
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 184 lbs.
Age: 18
Drafted from: London Knights (OHL)
Catches: Left


Notes:

  • Maintained a .904 save percentage in 24 games for London in 2017-18.
  • Won the Dinty Moore Trophy for the best rookie goals-against average in the OHL (3.11 GAA)
  • Named to the OHL Second All-Rookie team
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