Photo courtesy of nhl.nbcsports.com

Fantasy Summary

All around defenseman with untapped offensive upside.


Observations

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November 2021 – Whitecloud appears a key part of Vegas’ future plans, having recently inked a six-year contract at an average annual value of $2.75 million. Following his most lengthy stay at the NHL level, skating in 51 games during the 2020-21 campaign, the soon-to-be 25-year-old continued to rack up impressive peripherals during the first four games of this season, averaging more than 12 blocked shots (good for fourth-best in the league) and ten hits per 60 minutes. He is currently out of the lineup, considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury, but upon return should continue his role as a stay-at-home, penalty-killing, typically bottom-pair blueliner, averaging a shot per game over his 72-game career, and totalling two goals and 12 assists with a plus-15 rating. Kevin Wickersham

March 2020 – Whitecloud was plugged into the Vegas lineup on February first and looks like he belongs in the NHL. He plays a simple, low-risk game, making smart outlet passes while maintaining good gap control when facing the rush. He is smart and responsible in the defensive zone and rarely out of position. Whitecloud does not panic when under pressure and will take a hit to make a play. The moment is not too big for him as he plays with the poise of a seasoned veteran. Danny McGillicuddy

 

June 2019 – In his first full professional season, Whitecloud has done nothing but improve every step of the way. He lined up with Nic Hague for much of the season and the rookie pair was a dominant force all season. It’s hard to imagine stepping into a faster-paced game, against much higher quality opponents and finishing the season as the top player in the league in terms of plus-minus, but that’s exactly what Whitecloud did and by no small margin. He posted 28 points in 74 games for the Wolves, but really stepped up his game in the playoffs and finished with 15 points in 22 games which tied him for tops on the team. He was an integral part of the Wolves’ long playoff run before they were edged out for the Calder Cup. He will get a long look at camp this fall, especially if Colin Miller is moved, which will open up a spot on the right side, and he comes with a cap-friendly salary. Mason Black

 

April 2018 – When Bemidji St. was knocked out of their conference playoffs it didn’t take long for the Vegas Golden Knights to sign one of the NCAA’s most coveted free agents. Zach Whitecloud explained that opportunity was the biggest factor in his final decision but there is also a personal connection resulting in only a couple of degrees of separation between Whitecloud and the Vegas organization: his parents are billets for the Brandon Wheat Kings, an organization owned by Kelly McCrimmon who is also Golden Knights’ Assistant General Manager. In their inaugural season, the Golden Knights have quite a few empty spots of the 50 player contracts that are allowed in the NHL, and they certainly didn’t mind using one of those on an well-rounded defenseman. Whitecloud is mobile and projects as a safe and conservative third-pairing defenseman with the potential to improve the offensive part of his game. He signed after his sophomore season where he contributed 19 points in 36 games for the Bemidji St. Beavers and was able to get in one NHL game with the Golden Knights where he went plus-three on the night. Mason Black

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 4.0
NHL Certainty 8.0
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth November 28, 1996
Height 6‘2”
Weight 209 lbs
Drafted No

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Vincent Massey CollegiateCAHS- - -- -|        
  Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAAMU18HL8 0 00 4|        
 2012-2013 Central Plains Capitals U18 AAAMU18HL43 1 56 92|Playoffs2 0 00
  Portage TerriersMJHL1 0 00 0|        
 2013-2014 Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAAMU18HL43 8 1321 59|Playoffs8 0 33
  Virden Oil CapitalsMJHL1 0 00 0|Playoffs6 1 01
 2014-2015 Virden Oil CapitalsMJHL57 3 710 42|Playoffs10 1 34 10 
 2015-2016 Virden Oil CapitalsMJHL59 6 3440