CHICAGO — When George McPhee was assembling his scouting staff, the Golden Knights general manager was hiring men who knew how to find the real nuggets in the third, fourth and fifth rounds.
Those skills get put to the test Saturday when rounds 2 through 7 of the entry draft are held at the United Center. The Knights have 10 picks, including three in the second round (Nos. 34, 45 and 62).
“History will show there’ll be a lot of good players on day two,” Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Friday. “They’re obviously harder to find, but they’re there.”
Perhaps this is where the Knights look for a goaltender.
Only one goalie was taken Friday in the first round, Jake Oettenger of Boston University, who went to Dallas with the 26th pick.
Michael DiPietro, who helped the Windsor Spitfires to the Memorial Cup championship, is still available. So is Ian Scott of Prince Albert (Western Hockey League), Keith Petrozzelli of Muskegon (United States Hockey League), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of Finland and Olle Eriksson EK of Sweden.
The Knights have three goalies — Marc-Andre Fleury, Calvin Pickard and J.F. Berube; each was selected Wednesday in the expansion draft.
“We have goaltenders on our list,” McCrimmon said.
But ultimately, the Knights are going to stick to the formula McPhee has trusted over the years — take the best player available.
It was a successful formula when he was the general manager of the Washington Capitals.
“We have three second-round picks, and we hope to do the same thing with those that we did (Friday) with our first-round picks,” McPhee said.
Added McCrimmon: “This is where you trust your list and you trust the preparation of your scouts. You trust the work that’s been done. If you do, you’re going to wind up getting good results.”
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NHL Entry Draft
What: Rounds 2 through 7
When: 7 a.m. Saturday
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NHL Network
Golden Knights picks: Round 2 (3), Round 3 (1), Round 4 (1), Round 5 (2), Round 6 (2), Round 7 (1).