Per a team release, the Vegas Golden Knights have agreed to terms with winger Keegan Kolesar on a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $1.4MM.
Kolesar, while not an expansion draft selection, is effectively an original Golden Knight. Drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third round in 2015, Columbus traded Kolesar to Vegas in exchange for a 2017 second-round pick just days after the expansion draft. That pick, 45th overall, originally belonged to the Tampa Bay Lightning — a pick Vegas received as part of expansion draft considerations. Columbus then selected Alexandre Texier with the pick.
While Texier may be the better player out of that deal so far, Kolesar made a name for himself with multiple Golden Knights suffering injuries this season. Kolesar is certainly a rough-and-tumble kind of player, but he’s had a decent offensive output as well. In 77 games in 2021-22, he set career highs with 77 games played, seven goals, 17 assists, and 24 points. He’s a candidate to play a bigger role yet again next season as salary cap constraints have decimated some of Vegas’ forward depth.
With the signing, the Golden Knights and Kolesar avoid an arbitration hearing, which was set for August 10. Kolesar will become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.
(Obvious) Devils fan here. Would have liked to see a trade with cash strapped Vegas early on in this process because the Devils need some physicality. Plus, Kolesar showed he could score in AHL (30goals). Think there may be a chance he’s a 15-20g power foward who hits and drops the gloves. That’s still needed (especially with smaller faster Devils in Hughes and Bratt).
I too like Kolesar, but with McLeod, Wood, Bastien, and possibly Zetterlund on the roster, who are you removing?
Soumds like McLeod removed himself with Canadian hickey scandal, and Wood at $3.4M for a 4th line winger, happy to ship him out. Keeping Bastian Zetterlund.
Kolesar isn’t a center
He’s a RW, hence the power forward comment. As is Wood. Devils were at the bottom if not the bottom in hits. They get pushed around. Center or winger, Devils need some physicality.
I think being a GM in fantasyland is pretty easy.
Well at least Vegas did something solid this off-season.
Kolesar looked decent out there last year; not a bad deal for the Knights.
while Keegan IS an upgrade from Reaves overall, (speed, age, vision, puck movement, general metrics, etc.) he’s not an intimidator.. sure, he brings toughness to a certain degree, but unless he’s fighting your leading scorer or Euro-born defenseman, he’s even money (at best) to beat anyone… we all have a ‘puncher’s chance’, right?
VGK needed to re-up this guy for a few reasons, I think the main one is how dug-in he is w/the rest of the squad rather than hope they could find a different body to fill his shoes…