The Vegas Golden Knights have signed Nicolas Hague to a three-year entry-level contract. The second-round draft pick from this summer is already back with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, where he will continue to serve as alternate captain. The Steelheads project to be one of the better teams in the OHL this season, with Hague providing a solid two-way leader on the back end.
The 18-year old Hague was expected to be drafted in the first-round this year, before slipping just slightly to 34th overall. That drop allowed the Golden Knights to add him to what was already shaping up as an excellent draft group, joining Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom from the first round. That quartet will form the backbone of the Golden Knights’ prospect ranks for the time being, especially if they continue to develop at the rate they showed last year.
Hague came into last year with some mobility issues, but worked hard to put them behind him and start to unlock the offensive potential he’d shown as a youngster. Playing a pretty determined two-way game, he registered 46 points in 65 games and showed off what should be an NHL-capable shot from the point. While there is still a lot of development to go, Hague is an intelligent, instinctive defender that could easily have a top-4 future.
Because of his age and the fact he’ll spend the year in junior, the first year of his contract will not be burned this year. Depending on how his game progresses he’ll likely head back to Mississauga again in 2018-19, but there is huge potential buried in his 6’6″ frame.