The Vegas Golden Knights have signed one of their 2021 draft picks, inking Zach Dean to a three-year entry-level contract. Dean currently plays for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL, where he will remain this season.
Selected 30th overall in the most recent draft, the 18-year-old forward has actually only played seven games for Gatineau so far after suffering an injury in Golden Knights camp. He’s been outstanding in those games though, racking up nine points and 21 shots on goal. He’s also been playing center, despite sometimes being listed as a winger, an important distinction for the young prospect.
Signing his entry-level deal means he’s part of the Golden Knights family, but it doesn’t mean he’ll be in the NHL anytime soon. His contract will slide forward and it’s likely that Dean stays in junior for the 2022-23 season as well. Recently invited to Canada’s World Junior selection camp, if he doesn’t make the squad this year he’ll be a leading candidate for an impact role a year from now.