The Vegas Golden Knights finished the 2021 NHL Draft with two more selections in the seventh round. Seventh-rounders are usually long shots, but the COVID pandemic denied many juniors players a final year to grow their game and denied teams a chance to see that growth.
There will be a few sleepers hiding amongst those seventh-round picks.
The Golden Knights final picks of the 2021 NHL Draft were Ukrainian defenseman Artur Cholach and Swedish goalie Carl Lindbom.
The paid followed earlier picks of Zach Dean (30th overall, first round), Daniil Chayka (38th overall, second round), Jakub Brabenec (102nd overall, fourth round), and Jakub Demek (128th overall, fourth round).
Cholach, drafted in the sixth round, 190th overall, is a Ukrainian left-shot defenseman who has spent parts of the last two seasons in Ukraine with both Bilyy Bars Bils Tserkva and Sokol Kiev. The defenseman scored two points in 10 games.
No Ukrainian players have ever played for the Golden Knights. Cholach was also the first Ukrainian-born player to be selected in the 2021 NHL draft.
Similar to fellow draft pick Demek, Cholach came to Canadian junior hockey via the import draft. He was selected by the Barrie Colts of the OHL with their 3rd overall pick.
Coincidentally, Demek and Cholah share the same birthday.
We would like to congratulate Barrie Colts draft pick Artur Cholach on being selected in the 6th round, 190th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) in the 2021 NHL Draft.#ColtsCountry, join us in congratulating Artur!
— Barrie Colts (@OHLBarrieColts) July 24, 2021
The 6-foot-4, 201-pound defender will likely leave Ukraine for Canada to play for the Colt next season. There is little independent scouting on the prospect, but playing with Barrie should provide a good look at the Golden Knights new prospect.
He’s likely several years away from an NHL debut.
With the third to last pick in the draft, the Golden Knights selected goaltender Carl Lindbom (222nd overall). The 6-foot-1, 179 pounds Swedish goaltender, joins a growing list of Vegas Golden Knights goalie prospects, all under 24-years-old.
The list of prospect netminders includes Logan Thompson, 24, Jiri Patera, 22, and Dylan Ferguson, 22.
Lindbom for Djurgardens, Swedish Jr. A. Last season, he played only eight games and posted a paltry .890 save percentage.
His Djurgardens teammate, Willian Eklund was taken seventh overall by the San Jose Sharks. Carl’s older brother, Olof Lindbom, is also a Swedish goaltending prospect who the New York Rangers drafted in 2018.
Juniorkronorna har presenterat sin trupp för sommarens 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase. I den återfinns målvakten Carl Lindbom och forwarden William Eklund, som därmed kommer att representera Djurgården i juniorlandslaget.https://t.co/xD9Yry3CEX#DIFHockey #AlltidOavsett pic.twitter.com/0dcqFSXQIw
— Djurgården Hockey (@DIFHockeyse) June 17, 2021
Lindbom played for Team Sweden at the 2020-21 U-18 World Juniors Tournament. He played six games and had a 3.06 GAA .918 save percentage.
Goaltenders generally take three to five years to develop. However, Lindbom was rated as the 5th-best European goaltender and one of the best goalie prospects in Sweden.
We will likely have to wait a few seasons before seeing any of them in the NHL if we ever do. The Golden Knights open their 2021-22 season at home against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
NHL Free Agency begins on Wednesday, July 28.