Vegas Golden Knights: Time is ticking to sign top prospects

Time is running out for the Vegas Golden Knights and some of their prospects.

The Vegas Golden Knights, like the 30 other NHL teams, have until June 1 to sign their prospects to a contract, or risk them becoming Unrestricted Free Agents after losing their NHL rights.

Per CapFriendly, the Golden Knights currently have three prospects they need to sign by 5:00 PM ET on June 1 before losing their signing rights.

  • Jordan Kooy
  • Connor Corcoran
  • Xavier Bouchard

Granted, the Golden Knights have had bigger things to worry about in recent days given the NHL’s Return To Play Plan, but time is running out should they wish to retain the rights of that trio.

It isn’t like any of the three would command a substantial cap hit, but we all know a lot more goes into re-signing a player or not.

Players like Corcoran would be eligible for the Draft again but, given the defenseman’s high ceiling, it would be a surprise if he isn’t signed before June 1.

Let’s quickly delve into each prospect…

Jordan Kooy

Drafted 208th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Golden Knights, Jordan Kooy had an interesting 2019-20.

He began the year with the London Knights, putting up a poor 4.65 Goals Against Average and a .842 Save Percentage in five games, before struggling with the Sarnia Sting in the OHL.

Then, prior to the sports world going on hiatus, Kooy put up a 3.29 GAA and an improved .901 Save Percentage in 21 games for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL.

Vegas needs more depth between the pipes but given Koy’s struggles in the OHL, the 20-year-old may well go unsigned beyond Monday’s deadline.

Connor Corcoran #8 of the Windsor Spitfires looks on before a face-off during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals.

Connor Corcoran #8 of the Windsor Spitfires looks on before a face-off during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

Connor Corcoran

I would be very surprised if Connor Corcoran isn’t re-signed by the Golden Knights before Monday.

Drafted in 2018 with the 154th overall pick, the right-shot defenseman has a 42% chance of becoming a regular in the NHL according to Hockey Prospecting.

You can see why too.

Corcoran is developing nicely and he had a big 2019-20, putting up 54 points (19 goals, 35 assists) in 62 games with a plus/minus rating of +1 while wearing an “A” on his chest for the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL.

It was Corcoran’s best year yet in the OHL and, given Vegas’ need for right-shot defensemen, the 19-year-old could be ready to make the leap to the NHL sooner rather than later.

Xavier Bouchard

Another right-shot defenseman, Xavier Bouchard is a puck-moving blueliner with plenty of high upside.

Drafted 185th overall in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Bouchard split his time between the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and the Cape Breton Eagles in the QMJHL in 2019-20.

For Drakkar, Bouchard recorded 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 31 games with a -11 rating, while he put up 25 points (two goals, 23 assists) with an impressive +21 rating in 28 games for the Eagles.

Again, Bouchard has a 28% chance of becoming an NHL’er according to Hockey Prospecting, so I would think the defenseman would be offered a new deal before Monday.

Overall, I think it is likely that both Xavier Bouchard and Connor Corcoran are signed to entry-level deals before Monday’s Deadline.

Next: Golden Knights to reveal identity of AHL franchise on Thursday

Both are right-shot defensemen and both are developing well, but the Vegas Golden Knights will need to move quick in order to avoid losing the signing rights to the pair.

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