Golden Knights Ink Zach Dean to a Three-Year Contract

Zach Dean for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Zach Dean for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Do you remember the feeling when you were younger and you dreamed of maybe playing a professional sport for your favorite team? Or maybe your dream was to be a doctor and live in a big house? Maybe your dream wasn’t either of those. Maybe you wanted to be an astronaut? No matter who you are, what you like to do, all of us at one point when we were young dreamed of the life that we hope for. The problem with dreaming is that for most of us, it’s unrealistic. However, not for everyone.

From the moment that you can fit into a pair of skates and everything was just a distant dream and then you turn 17 or 18 years old and hear your name called at the NHL Entry Draft–it’s funny how fast life goes by.

Yesterday night, the Vegas Golden Knights 2021 First-round pick, Zach Dean, has officially signed his first National Hockey League contract to make his dreams reality. So, what are the Knights going to get out of Dean looking forward?

The Vegas Golden Knights don’t currently have a very good track record of keeping their first-round picks. So with that being said, and knowing the Vegas Golden Knights aggressive off-season approach, this article could very well be written for another team trying to learn more about their new acquisition. But for now, he’s a Vegas Knight so that’s who I’m writing this for.

So, after signing Zach Dean, I’m assuming that you guys are going to want to learn more about out new prospect. So I took the time to look over some of his games to find out exactly what type of player the Knights are going to get. So here’s what you need to know and what I was able to gather

Zach Dean, F

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 179lbs

My Findings: Zach Dean, across some of the games that I was able to watch, wasn’t exactly the flashiest player on the ice. Despite not being the flashiest player on the ice, he was a well-rounded player on the offensive and defensive side of the puck. He showed pretty good speed when in transition although, against some of the faster defenseman, I don’t expect him to beat them with speed which is where his ability to make passes and find lanes comes into play. He showed the ability to make quick passes with the puck in breakaway situations, and also showed the ability to pull the trigger on the shot.

Pro Comparison: After watching multiple games, it seemed as though I’ve already seen his talent before and that’s when it hit me: Reilly Smith.

Now, I know that you don’t just want to hear my thought’s on him which is why I went and found an expert’s opinion over Dean for you.

The Athletic- NHL Entry Draft Expert: Scott Pronman

Zach Dean, C (No. 30): Dean didn’t put up as big of numbers (20 points in 23 games) as you would have thought he could after his big 16-year-old season, but he did a lot of the things that make you like him as a prospect. Dean is a well-rounded player. He brings NHL-caliber skill to the table to go along with quality skating ability and a high work level. He can beat opponents not only with his hands but also by taking the puck wide and making a hard play to the net. He wins a fair number of battles and creates turnovers with his hustle. I wouldn’t call him a dynamic playmaker. He can make plays with pace and has the vision to create at even strength at the NHL level but doesn’t do so consistently. In a sentence, Dean projects to be a middle-six NHL forward at center or on the wing who can bring speed, grit and some scoring.

Pronman’s thoughts: Dean is a well-rounded forward who brings a lot to a lineup in terms of speed, skill and compete. The upside doesn’t seem super high, but he brings an energy element to go with some scoring that some of Vegas’ top forward prospects don’t have. I would have liked to see them add a defenseman here.

Hot. Another Star Could Return for the Golden Knights. light

In conclusion, it sounds as though some people have some high hopes for his ability to quickly become a NHL player. However, when looking at his talent from a potential standpoint, he’s not the type of player who carries explosive traits and takes the league by storm. He will be a Reilly Smith type of player when he hits the league based upon my projection.

Next. There Need's to be a Change in Captaincy. dark