Top 3 goaltenders the Vegas Golden Knights must draft

While it sounds funny that the Vegas Golden Knights should draft a goaltender, it doesn't hurt to have too many options. Here are the top three options.
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Normally, goaltenders aren't taken in the first round of the NHL Draft. That right is usually reserved for forwards and defensemen, where teams have a near-immediate need to fill. While there are some outliers such as Jake Oettinger, a majority of solid goalies are taken on the second day. Therefore, they're relegated to the back, where they're picked up in later rounds.

Luckily, the Vegas Golden Knights have three late-round picks to make such selections. While the focus will be on building forward (or overall skater) depth, there is room for a goaltender to pick in the later rounds. Why not go with a bigger goalie to add more depth? It'd be nice to find a complimentary prospect to develop alongside Carl Lindbom.

That's especially true with the looming questions the franchise has at the position. With Adin Hill and Logan Thompson heading into free agency after next season, fans wonder what Vegas will do if both leave. Could they be traded? But other questions surround the two players, such as what would happen if one fell off production-wise.

That's why it's good to draft a goaltender later in the NHL Draft. That way, the next player is ready to step up once the time's right. It's also important to consider the number of injuries the Vegas Golden Knights have dealt with at the position. During their Stanley Cup run in 2022-23, Vegas had Laurent Brossoit as their starter heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Why not take a look at some of the options from the draft? These players carry good size and have shown to be reliable down the stretch. They'll also benefit from being in a goaltender-friendly system, where shooting lanes are redirected for more optimal saves. Here are three players the Golden Knights should look at this week.

Thatcher Bernstein, Dubuque Fighting Saints/Tri-City Storm

One thing you'll notice about these picks is the goaltenders are big. Standing at a minimum of 6'3", they take up plenty of space in the crease and can become a force if they utilize it correctly. Thatcher Bernstein is one of those NHL Draft prospects, playing in the 2024 Chipotle All-American Game.

He also had a notable year at Noble & Greenough School in 2021-22, posting a GAA of 2.24 in 19 games. The Boston native also has big-game experience, excelling in numerous tournaments. That includes the Team Columbia tournament in 2022-23 (GAA of 2.49 and a save percentage of .920 in four games) and the Massachusetts District tournament (GAA of 2.63 in six games).

One thing that stands out about Thatcher Bernstein is his ability to skate smoothly. He moves fluently throughout the crease, picking up on incoming shooters. He can also set his feet quickly, prepping for a shot before it even happens. That adds to his profile, especially with the goaltender standing at 6'3".