The Chicago Wolves’ playoff run has offered Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon extended looks at some of his top prospects less than a month into his new job.
The Knights’ American Hockey League affiliate begins play in the Western Conference Final of the Calder Cup playoffs against the San Diego Gulls on Friday in Rosemont, Illinois.
Defensemen Nic Hague and Zach Whitecloud are stating their cases to be in the blue line mix for the Knights with their stellar play throughout the postseason. Each has two goals and four assists and are tied for third in playoff scoring among defensemen.
Hague, 20, was a second-round pick of Vegas in 2017.
Cody Glass, the franchise’s first selection and one of three first-rounders from that inaugural draft, is also making his presence felt with four goals and three assists in 11 playoff games.
Glass, who turned 20 in April, played six regular-season games for the Wolves after earning a call-up when the Western Hockey League season ended.
He had 15 goals and 54 assists in an injury-shortened campaign with Portland.
Chicago’s run in the postseason has allowed the Knights to see what Glass, their top remaining forward prospect, can do at the AHL level ahead of a training camp, where he figures to make a push for a roster spot next season.
Several of the Wolves veterans hope to make the same case.
Forward Curtis McKenzie has a team-high five goals and is tied for the lead in points with eight. Tomas Hyka, who is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, has notched six assists.
The Wolves were bolstered by the return of Daniel Carr, who won the AHL’s Most Valuable Player award despite playing in just 52 regular-season games due to an injury that also caused him to miss the first round of the playoffs. He returned for the second round against Iowa and picked up right where he left off with two goals and five assists in six games.
Carr is set to become an unrestricted free agent and has potentially worked himself into a contract the Knights can’t afford after posting 71 points.
The Wolves advanced by beating Grand Rapids in five games before eliminating Iowa in six.
Goaltender Oscar Dansk has been a major factor, especially in the second round.
Dansk started all six games and allowed 13 goals. The 25-year-old was 3-0-0 with a 1.78 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in four appearances for the Knights in 2017-18.
The Gulls are an affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks.
Western Conference Final
Game 1 – San Diego at Chicago, 5 p.m. Friday
Game 2 – San Diego at Chicago, 5 p.m. Saturday
Game 3 – Chicago at San Diego, 7 p.m. Wednesday
Game 4 – Chicago at San Diego, 7 p.m. May 24
*Game 5 – Chicago at San Diego, 7 p.m. May 25
*Game 6 – San Diego at Chicago, 5 p.m. May 27
*Game 7 – San Diego at Chicago, 5 p.m. May 29