The Vegas Golden Knights have drafted defenseman Daniil Chayka of the OHL’s Guelph Storm with the 38th overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
The Golden Knights originally held the 36th overall pick but traded down two spots in a deal with the Detroit Red Wings. Vegas received the 38th and the 128th pick for pick number 36.
Chayka showed flashes of brilliancy in the OHL during the 2019-20 season before the COVID shutdown. He played 56 games in the OHL with the Guelph Storm in 2020 and had 11 goals and 34 points. His last season across multiple leagues in Russia were uninspiring and likely led to his fall from out of the first round.
The 18-year-old defenseman shows the ability to be very mobile on the backend and has a very strong first pass ability. He has a very active stick and a big frame that will shut down a lot of opposing offenses. Chayka will not be quarterback Vegas’ powerplay any time soon but could be a staple on the future penalty kill.
The Russian projects to be a top-four defenseman and would slot in effectively alongside a more offensive d-partner to make up for Chayka’s lack of offensive prowl.
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