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.