The Golden Knights have participated in just three drafts, but they’ve made the most of them.
The Knights have made 28 picks in their brief history and will have five when the NHL draft begins Tuesday. It will give the team a chance to boost an already solid stable of prospects.
Who stands out among the franchise’s selections? Here’s the Knights’ all-drafted team, featuring the players with the brightest futures still in the organization:
Peyton Krebs-Cody Glass-Lucas Elvenes
(Alternate: Jack Dugan)
The Knights have to be excited about the forwards coming through the pipeline.
Glass, the team’s first draft pick, got his feet wet in the NHL last season. He had 12 points in 39 games while spending plenty of time at right wing instead of center. If he gets more of a chance in the middle next season, it could showcase his vision and passing.
The 21-year-old is rehabbing a late-season knee injury but should be ready for training camp.
Krebs also got a taste of the NHL but in a much different fashion. The 17th overall pick in 2019 earned a spot on the Knights’ postseason taxi squad and joined the team in Edmonton, Alberta. He even warmed up a few times, showing how much faith the organization has in him.
The 19-year-old probably will return to junior hockey next season because he cannot be sent to the American Hockey League. The natural center, who played some left wing in training camp, had 60 points in 38 games last season in the Western Hockey League after rehabbing a predraft Achilles injury.
Elvenes was taken 127th overall in 2017 — 121 picks after Glass — but has outplayed that draft slot.
The 21-year-old left-shot wing, who can play on either side of the ice, had 48 points in 59 games for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and finished fourth among rookies in scoring. He’s a pass-first playmaker with great patience, but he needs to keep improving his play away from the puck.
Dugan’s trajectory has been similar to that of Elvenes. Taken 142nd overall in 2017, Dugan had a tremendous sophomore season at Providence and was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award for the top college player.
The 22-year-old led Division I players in points (52) and assists (42). He signed his entry-level contract in July, so he will compete in training camp to be either a Golden or Silver Knight.
Nic Hague-Kaedan Korczak
(Alternate: Peter DiLiberatore)
To borrow a phrase from president of hockey operations George McPhee, the Knights have many different “flavors” of defensemen in their system.
Hague, a 2017 second-round pick, is big and skilled. He played his first 38 NHL games last season and had ups and downs. The 21-year-old stayed in the AHL after the All-Star break but still gained experience as part of the postseason taxi squad.
The key to Hague’s future is improving the subtleties of his defensive game. He’s never going to be the fastest skater, so his gap control, anticipation and in-zone awareness have to be sharp.
Korczak was a second-round pick in 2019, but his game isn’t the same as Hague’s. The right-handed defenseman is solid in all areas without possessing a flashy, standout trait. He instead will be someone who coaches will be able to trust to play dependable minutes.
The 19-year-old expanded his game offensively a little last season with 49 points in 60 games in the WHL.
DiLiberatore brings his own style, too. The 2018 sixth-round pick is a smooth puck mover and has been a breakout machine for Quinnipiac. The 20-year-old decided to stay in college another year after scoring 21 points in 34 games as a sophomore.
(Alternate: Jiri Patera)
The Knights don’t have a surefire future No. 1 goaltender in their organization and haven’t selected one higher than 96th overall.
But Saville has plenty of potential. The 20-year-old had a .907 save percentage and 2.85 goals-against average in 28 games as a freshman for Nebraska-Omaha. The 2019 fifth-round pick represented the U.S. at the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Patera, a 2017 sixth-round pick, received a contract after a strong junior season with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The 21-year-old was the WHL’s Eastern Conference goaltender of the year. He set a franchise record for goals-against average (2.55) and led the conference in wins (24) and save percentage (.921).