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31 in 31

Top prospects for Vegas Golden Knights

Glass continues to develop; Hague could play in NHL this season

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the top five prospects for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to NHL.com.

 

[Golden Knights 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy breakdown | Behind the Numbers]

 

1. Cody Glass, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Chicago (AHL): 6 GP, 3-2-5; Portland (WHL): 38 GP, 15-54-69

The first draft pick in Golden Knights history keeps taking steps in his development.

Last season was like two in one for Glass (6-foot-2, 178 pounds), a center who played for Portland of the Western Hockey League, Canada in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and Chicago of the American Hockey League. He turned 20 on April 1 and had 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 22 games in the AHL's Calder Cup Playoffs.

"You just watched him over the course of the season continue to get better and better," said Golden Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who becomes GM on Sept. 1. "So we're very excited about him as a player."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: Glass joins the show to discuss his prospect ranking

 

2. Peyton Krebs, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 17 pick in 2019 NHL Draft

Last season: Winnipeg (WHL): 64 GP, 19-49-68

GM George McPhee told NHL Network that Krebs probably would have gone in the top 10 had he not sustained a partially torn Achilles tendon in an on-ice training session June 4. The 18-year-old center had surgery three days later and hobbled on stage at the draft in Vancouver on June 21.

Krebs (5-11, 180) put up more than one point per game for Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League last season. He prides himself on playing a 200-foot game like Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We like the speed," McPhee said. "We like the character of this kid, the playmaking ability. There's risk in what we did. But we're comfortable in taking that risk based on the research we've done, and we feel we got a top-10 player at 17."

Projected NHL arrival: 2021-22

 

3. Nicolas Hague, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 34 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Chicago (AHL): 75 GP, 13-19-32

Hague (6-6, 215) said he feels ready to play in the NHL this season after working on his skating and defensive play. The 20-year-old was plus-31 in the AHL last season.

"He's so big and imposing out there, whereas his first year he was a little bit like Bambi on ice," Golden Knights assistant coach Mike Kelly said. "That's part of the process. That's what you get when you have an 18-year-old kid with a big frame and they grow into it."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: VGK@VAN: Thompson finishes cross-ice dish from Hague

 

4. Zach Whitecloud, D

How acquired: Signed as free agent March 8, 2018

Last season: Chicago (AHL): 74 GP, 6-22-28

Whitecloud (6-2, 209) will compete with Hague and others for an NHL roster spot this season. The 22-year-old led the AHL at plus-39 last season.

Signing the undrafted free agent could turn out to be a coup for Vegas. Whitecloud has made significant improvement after two seasons with Virden of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, two seasons at Bemidji State in the NCAA and one season in the AHL. He matched up against top players and made strides offensively last season.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

5. Nicolas Roy, F

How acquired: Trade from Carolina Hurricanes on June 26

Last season: Carolina (NHL): 6 GP, 0-0-0; Charlotte (AHL): 69 GP, 17-19-36

Roy has a chance to be the fourth-line center after Pierre-Edouard Bellemare signed with the Colorado Avalanche as an unrestricted free agent July 1 after two seasons at the position.

The Golden Knights acquired Roy (6-4, 205) and a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft in a trade from the Hurricanes for forward Erik Haula. The 22-year-old has developed since Carolina selected him in the fourth round (No. 96) of the 2015 NHL Draft. As a second-year pro last season, he was an important part of Charlotte's Calder Cup championship team.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

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