Vegas Golden Knights beat the deadline to sign Corcoran to Entry-Level Contract

Connor Corcoran reacts after being selected 154th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2018 NHL Draft. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Connor Corcoran reacts after being selected 154th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2018 NHL Draft. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Connor Corcoran is officially a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

On what was the final day to sign prospects before their NHL rights expired, the Vegas Golden Knights made sure they committed to yet another highly-regarded blueliner.

Corcoran could have opted to re-enter the Draft should he have wished if his rights were allowed to expire, becoming an Unrestricted Free Agent after the 2:00 PM PT deadline.

However, the Golden Knights beat the cutoff point by signing Corcoran to a three-year Entry-Level Contract.

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But, according to Jesse Granger of The Athletic, goalie Jordan Kooy and blueliner Xavier Bouchard will both hit the open market now after their NHL rights were allowed to expire.

It isn’t surprising that Kooy has been allowed to walk due to his struggles in the OHL, coupled with the emergence of Isaiah Saville, the 135th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

On the other hand, it is somewhat of a shock that Bouchard didn’t get offered an Entry-Level Contract given that he had made solid progress, as mapped out here, but that is testament to the depth the Golden Knights have on the blueline.

Back to Corcoran, though, and the 6’2″ & 192 lbs defenseman has flourished and he will now give Vegas another tantalizing defensive option.

Drafted in 2018 with the 154th overall pick, Corcoran has a 42% chance of becoming a regular in the NHL according to Hockey Prospecting, and he’s certainly got all the tools needed to succeed in the majors.

In 62 games with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, Corcoran had a monster year with 54 points (19 goals, 35 assists) in 62 games while wearing an “A” on his chest.

That impressive season came off the back of 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 68 games for the Spitfires the previous year.

Another notable factor is the fact that Corcoran is a right-shot, a commodity the Golden Knights are lacking in on the blueline.

Defenseman Connor Corcoran #8 of the Windsor Spitfires
Defenseman Connor Corcoran #8 of the Windsor Spitfires moves the puck against the Kitchener Rangers. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /

As it stands, only Deryk Engelland and Zach Whitecloud are right-shot blueliners on the current roster, with the former likely to retire in the off-season.

Corcoran will now join Kaedan Korczak and Dylan Coghlan as high-end right-shot defensemen in the pipeline, and Corcoran could make the leap to the AHL in 2020-21 with the Golden Knights’ new AHL affiliates, the Henderson Silver Knights.

Blessed with good size, exceptional skating ability, impeccable hockey IQ and smarts and able to excel in his own zone, Corcoran has really polished his offensive game in the last year or so.

As a result, the 19-year-old could morph into a very good two-way defenseman in the National Hockey League who can play in all situations and be relied upon to log big minutes on a night-to-night basis.

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Vegas Golden Knights fans will now get to see Connor Corcoran up close and personal with the Henderson Silver Knights next year, giving them a glimpse of a future NHL blueliner in action.