Prospects Ramblings: Free Agent Prospects Signed and Some to Watch

Peter Harling

2017-03-06

duke vegas

As the hockey season begins to wind down NHL teams have begun the prospect free agent signing season in earnest. Today the Vegas Golden Knights signed their first player in franchise history, but the signing began last week. Let’s have a look at who has signed where, and what is still to come.

Vegas Golden Knights

The answer to future trivia question is Reid Duke, the question is – Who was the first player in the Vegas Golden Knights history? So who is he??

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Golden Knights have made the first player transaction in team history &amp; signed forward Reid Duke.<br> <br>More: <a href="https://t.co/CnhTkZe38y">https://t.co/CnhTkZe38y</a> <a href="https://t.co/gr3ygg24Z1">pic.twitter.com/gr3ygg24Z1</a></p>&mdash; Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoldenKnights/status/838829499936468992">March 6, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Reid Duke was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth round of the 2014 draft and was never signed. As a result he was put back into the 2016 draft and went unselected, making him a free agent. He returned to his junior team the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL where last season he helped lead them to a Memorial Cup run. This season he is having a career year leading the team in scoring with 67 points in 54 games. It helps that super Star Nolan Patrick missed the first half of the season to allow him the top center option and now he is back plenty of scouts are watching him play on a regular basis. But what really sold him to the Knights was the familiarity with Knights Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon who was his former Coach in Brandon. Don’t count on Duke making the Knights out of their training camp this coming fall, but he does have the upside to make it much sooner than players they will acquire at the entry draft as he is already 21-years-old.

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The Vancouver Canucks have really done a superb job of upgrading their prospect depth. The trade deadline additions of Jonathan Dahlen and Nikolay Goldobin were brilliant and since then GM Jim Benning signed free agent Zack MacEwen out of Gatineau of the QMJHL. MacEwen is a late bloomer if there ever was one. Last year was his rookie season in the QMJHL and this year he is an overager. He really has come from nowhere, never drafted into major junior let alone the NHL, the 20-year-old is having a breakout season with 65 points in 60 games for the Olympiques.Last summer he was invited to the Anaheim Ducks training camp, but was unsigned. The Toronto Maple Leafs were also very interested in MacEwen and were close to signing him a few weeks prior.

 He has good size at 6-3, skates well has quick hands and a great hockey mullet. He can play a physical game, is an accomplished and willing fighter but it is his puck skills that