The 2022 NHL Draft is less than a week away. Even though the Vegas Golden Knights do not have a first-round pick, the draft is still a crucial event for them.
So in preparation for the draft and as a refresher on where some of the younger players in the organization are at, let’s look back at every draft pick the Golden Knights have made in their history. This can give us a feel for what direction general manager Kelly McCrimmon and co. might be headed.
I’ll try and keep this short, as there are a lot of players to go over here. We will be doing a full prospect rankings/pyramid after this year’s draft.
2017 NHL Draft
At the time of the 2017 draft, the Vegas Golden Knights were the youngest team in the NHL. They had just put together a solid roster via the expansion draft and were expected to compete as they landed guys like David Perrson, James Neal, and Marc-Andre Fleury.
No one expected the Golden Knights to be a Stanley Cup contending team right out of the gate, and as a result and the VGK looked to build towards the future through the draft. They drafted Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Erik Brannstrom all in round one.
This trio was expected to be the future for the Golden Knights down the line. But instead, the Golden Knights were competitive right from the get-go and traded these young players for win-now guys such as Nolan Patrick, Max Pacioretty, and Mark Stone respectively. Glass and Branstrom are still finding their footing in the NHL. But Suzuki has become a top-line center and All-Star player for the Canadiens.
In rounds two and beyond, the Golden Knights continued to select solid players as they found Nicolas Hague, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Benjamin Jones, and Jiri Patera* in later rounds. All appeared in games with the VGK this past season (*Patera only as backup) with Hague, in particular, being a big part of the team’s young defense.
Maksim Zhukov, Lucas Elvenes, Nick Campoli, and Jack Dugan were also drafted this year by the Golden Knights but have yet to play an NHL game.
2018 NHL Draft
The Golden Knights did not have a first-round pick in 2018 as they traded it in the Tomas Tatar deal.
Paul Cotter is the only player from the 2018 draft, selected by the Golden Knights, that has played an NHL game. Cotter scored two goals in seven games with the 2021-22 Golden Knights. Slava Demin is also worth noting as he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Robin Lehner trade.
Outside of these three Brandon Kruse, Peter Diliberatore, Ivan Morozov, and Connor Corcoran are playing with the Henderson Silver Knights. Xavier Bouchard and Jordan Kooy have also not played in the NHL.
2019 NHL Draft
Continuing the trend of the Golden Knight’s highest pick in the draft being traded away, Peyton Krebs was dealt in the Jack Eichel deal and is currently with the Buffalo Sabres. Outside of Suzuki, Krebs looks like the best prospect the Golden Knights gave up as he is fitting in well with the Sabres. He scored 7 goals and 15 assists with Buffalo alongside Alex Tuch, who also performed well for the Sabres.
The Golden Knights made some solid mid-round picks as both Kaedan Korczak and Pavel Dorofeyev were selected. Both look ready to make the jump into the NHL from the AHL in the coming years. The VGK also selected Silver Knights Layton Ahac, Mason Primeau, and goaltender Isaiah Saville in this draft. Ryder Donavan and Marcus Kallionkieli round out the team’s 2019 picks.
2020 NHL Draft
The Golden Knights not only kept their first-round pick in 2020 but have not traded away the player they selected with the pick either. A rarity for sure. That pick was for Brendan Brisson, a player we have followed closely here at Vegas Hockey Now. Brisson looks to be a steal for the VGK as a late 1st rounder.
Lukas Cormier looks to be a solid young defenseman and played for Team Canada during the 2022 World Junior Championship. Late-round pick Maxim Marushev is currently with the Silver Knights.
Elsehwere the VGK picked Jackson Hallum, Jesper Vikman, and Noah Ellis in this draft.
2021 NHL Draft
Finally, we get to the most recent draft in the NHL. A lot of these young players are still continuing their development, so it is hard to say how close they are to becoming NHL’ers- if they even do.
The Golden Knights took Zach Dean with a late first-round pick. He put up 52 points in 47 games with the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL this past season. Also from the Q, defenseman Jakub Brabenec scored 64 points in 58 games. Defenseman Daniil Chayka fell to the second round where the VGK snagged him. He scored 39 points in 53 games with the Guelph Storm in the OHL.
Jakub Demek, Arthur Cholach, and Carl Lindbom were all taken that year as well.
2022 NHL Draft
The Golden Knights will get set for draft day on Wednesday with picks no. 48 95, 135, 145, 177 and 209.
They currently have six picks in the draft. They have their own second, fifth, sixth, and seventh-round picks. They also have the New York Ranger’s second-round pick (Ryan Reaves trade), and the Chicago Blackhawk’s fifth-round pick (Mattias Janmark trade).