Welcome to our annual 31-in-31 Summer Series here at DobberProspects! Every day in July we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s draft, notes from their development camp, and insights into their off-season moves so far. Following this up, the August 31-in-31 Series will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check in often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all summer long!
In each of the first three years of the Golden Knights existence as a franchise, Vegas has walked away from the draft table heralded as one of the consensus strongest drafting teams. This year was no exception. After an unimaginable Stanley Cup run in their inaugural season, Vegas decided that they had already amassed enough core pieces to be considered a legitimate Cup contender for the next few years. They traded away some of their top prospects in Erik Brannstrom and Nick Suzuki over the past couple of seasons in an effort to solidify their lineup.
Although they were eliminated from this year’s playoffs after a controversial call in the deciding game against San Jose, they headed into the 2019 draft holding onto eight total picks. Four of their draft selections were in the first three rounds, and another three in the fifth round. Time and time again they selected players that were deemed to go much higher in the draft based on consensus rankings. Despite the short amount of time as an organization they have a very interesting prospect pool, and their recent selections add to the depth and overall talent level of the Golden Knights.
1st round, 17th overall: Peyton Krebs, C – Kootenay Ice (WHL)
Prior to the draft during a training session, Krebs was cut by a skate that left him with a partial tear of his Achilles tendon. Although the injury comes with an almost 100% guaranteed success rate in recovery, the injury may have been enough to allow him to slide to the bottom half of the first round and into the lap of the Golden Knights’ organization.
Krebs spent the season with the dwindling Kootenay Ice and was the sole shining light on an otherwise underperforming team where he was required to do much of the heavy lifting without much support. Next season, a franchise move to Manitoba (Winnipeg Ice) may spark one of the largest upticks of point production across the entire CHL as the change of scenery brings along with it some high-end talent – enter Matthew Savoie – that will give Krebs some much-needed support. By this time next year, it’s quite possible that everyone will look back and wonder how he ever slipped to the late teens.
As a playmaker, Krebs has shone internationally playing with top-end teammates. He’s a natural leader and was given the honour of captaining his WHL team at the young age of 17. He can be counted on in all situations and has a high skill level, which allows him to use his elusiveness to find open teammates. Although he doesn’t have exceptional speed, he uses his top gear to pull off shifty moves and create space. Krebs’ game should translate very well at the NHL level when he’s ready.
2nd round, 41st overall: Kaedan Korczak, D – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Korczak provides quick transition as he’s able to utilize his decent size to create turnovers and quickly turn the puck from the defense to offense; a crucial skill that is required in the NHL.
He’s a very intelligent two-way defender that has superior skating for his size, and as he fills out he