On Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights announced a two-year contract extension for defenceman Zach Whitecloud. The new deal will begin in the 2020-21 season and carry a $725K annual average value.
The 23-year-old Brandon product has spent the past two seasons within Kelly McCrimmon’s organization, suiting up with both the Golden Knights and the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. Primarily skating in the AHL, Whitecloud was given an opportunity to play in the big league this past season as injuries on Vegas’ blueline continued to add up.
The former Manitoba Junior Hockey League defenceman played two seasons with the Virden Oil Capitals before playing two years of NCAA hockey with Bemidji State University, where he put up seven goals and 36 points over two seasons of play. Whitecloud spent 2018-19 with the Chicago Wolves, scoring six goals and 28 points in 74 games on the back end, before tearing it up in the postseason, with three goals and 15 points in 22 playoff games.
The 6-foot-1, 209-pound blueliner skated in his first NHL game on April 5, 2018 against the Edmonton Oilers, before finding a place in the Golden Knights’ lineup on a regular basis following a late January call up. Now having dressed in 16 games for Vegas this season, Whitecloud has one assist, a plus-3 rating, four penalty minutes and nine shots on goal while primarily playing a defensive, shutdown role.