The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up one of their minor league defensemen, signing Jake Bischoff to a three-year contract through the 2021-22 season. The deal carries an average annual value of just $716,667, making Bischoff an incredibly cheap depth option for the team. The 24-year old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent at the deal’s end.
Bischoff came to the Golden Knights as part of the team’s expansion draft trade with the New York Islanders, and has spent the last two seasons in the minor leagues. A former star at the University of Minnesota, Bischoff has a polished two-way game that has him knocking on the NHL door. Prior to this offseason the Golden Knights were overloaded with depth defensemen though, meaning there was limited opportunity to get into any actual game action. Bischoff made the Golden Knights out of camp last year but failed to suit up for a single NHL game.
This time around though that might not be the case. Vegas currently has just five other defensemen on one-way contracts, meaning Bischoff will be battling with the likes of Zach Whitecloud and Jimmy Schuldt for playing time. That is of course if they even keep the rest of the group, which is certainly not a guarantee given they need to clear some cap room at some point in the future. Nick Holden’s $2.2MM cap hit seems like an obvious choice, though that would only limit their NHL experience even further. Deryk Engelland is expected to sign with the Golden Knights before the season begins, adding another name into the competition for players like Bischoff.