Keegan Kolesar has earned himself a nice ticket with the Vegas Golden Knights.
It was announced today that the Vegas Golden Knights have signed Kolesar to a two-year contract extension worth $1,450,000.
The deal carries an Average Annual Value of $725,000 and runs through until the end of the 2021-22 season.
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This is another smart piece of business by the Golden Knights with Kolesar a potential long-term replacement for Ryan Reaves on that juggernaut of a fourth-line.
Although he’s likely to start the 2020-21 season in the American Hockey League with the Henderson Silver Knights, Kolesar is a perfect replacement should either Reaves or William Carrier get hurt at any point during the year.
Drafted 69th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Kolesar was a productive player for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL, totalling 167 points (77 G, 90 A) in 243 games.
Traded to the Golden Knights by the Columbus Blue Jackets for a Second Round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Kolesar quickly established himself as a key piece for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL.
He flourished under then Head Coach Rocky Thompson, carving out a career-year in 2018-19 with 36 points (20 G, 16 A) in 74 games with 90 PIM, while he had 11 points (6 G, 5 A) in 21 postseason games as the Wolves made the 2019 Calder Cup Final.
Kolesar put up three goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 33 games in 2019-20, while he also made his NHL debut that same year against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 11, recording 12:06 minutes of ice time.
There is no doubt that the 23-year-old has the potential to crack the Golden Knights lineup, and he could slot in on the bottom-line once Reaves retires if he does indeed hang up his skates with Vegas.
A gritty two-way winger who plays a hard-nosed game, battles hard in the dirty areas and does possess some offensive upside, Kolesar is one to watch and he should take the next step in his career in 2020-21.
Standing at 6-foot-2 and 227 pounds, Kolesar boasts all the intangibles needed to become a gritty, dominating bottom-six forward in the National Hockey League and this two-year contract suggests that he’s a big part of the Golden Knights’ future.
Also, with the Silver Knights right on the doorstep in Henderson, the Golden Knights coaching staff and front office will be able to keep a closer eye on Kolesar’s progress and development, which should only benefit the player.
Overall, this is a smart piece of business by the Vegas Golden Knights who have locked up what could become a big piece of their bottom-six forward group going forward in Keegan Kolesar, who will now be looking to prove himself as a capable NHL forward.