Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #4 Nic Hague

Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #4 Nic Hague

Nicolas Hague a.k.a. “Nic Hague”

Date of Birth Dec 05, 1998

Age 19

Place of Birth Kitchener, ON, CAN

Position D

Height 6’6″ / 197 cm

Weight 214 lbs / 97 kg

Shoots L

Cap Hit $925,000 (buried)

Drafted 2017 round 2 #34 overall by Vegas Golden Knights

There are many reasons why a player might fall in the draft. Some have attitude problems. Some may have undisclosed medical issues. But sometimes, there is no justifiable explanation for why a player who has enough talent to be a first pairing defenseman to slide to the top of the second round. Thankfully for the Golden Knights, that appears to be Nic Hague’s fate, who fell half a round to Vegas at 34th overall in the 2017 draft. Hague wasted no time proving that virtually every team in the NHL had made a missed a great opportunity by allowing him to slip through the first round.

Hague would go on to post one of the most impressive seasons for an OHL defenseman in a generation. Hague’s 35 goals ranks him at 9th in OHL history for a single season and was good enough to earn him the OHL’s defenseman of the year award. To frame the achievement a little differently, Hague is the only player in this millennium to pass the 30-goal mark, and is the first player since the early nineties to score at his level. Admittedly, very few expected Hague to be an offensive dynamo. He had only scored 18 goals and 46 points in his previous season, and this 6’6” behemoth was widely criticized for being a poor skater. Fans may remember Hague getting walked by Vancouver’s Brock Boeser in the Golden Knights’ first preseason game:

While Hague’s skating could certainly use some more work, he has worked diligently to improve his speed, power, and acceleration, he has made massive strides (see what I did there?) in all three areas.

After an exceptional season in the OHL, Hague is the first Vegas draftee to make his AHL debut with the Chicago Wolves. At the tender age of 19, Hague fought the 25 year old Jimmy Oligny and held his own by using his extremely long reach to hold the older, more experienced player at bay.

Hague’s physical play helps to define his game, punishing players for keeping the puck, while embarrassing goalies with his booming shot. Hague’s abilities to quickly and accurately pass the puck and disrupt a opposing players with his stick make him dangerous in every situation.

No matter how much I write, I can’t describe how impressive his shot is. So just back and enjoy some of this season’s highlights:

While the Knights’ Watch has incredibly high hopes that Hague will develop into a franchise-defining defenseman, he still has work to do before he is ready to make a positive impact in the NHL. George McPhee rarely minces words. He was frank about Hague: “He’s played well, and he has developed well. But he has to work on the pace of his game…He’s getting away with things at the junior level because he’s 6′ 6″ and talented. He’s not going to get away with some of those things at the next level, so he has to work on going as fast as he can and as hard as he can. It’s going to take time. That’s why we have a long-term development plan for him. It’s not going to happen overnight. But we think he’s going to be fine.”

Hague will attend the 2018 Golden Knights development camp starting on Monday, June 25, and will likely spend next season with the Wolves. His December birthday allows him to avoid another season in the OHL, where he would have limited opportunities to work on the weaknesses in his game. Playing in the AHL for a season or two will push him to the next level. In his prime, Hague projects to be a top-pairing offensive defenseman with a jagged mean streak and could potentially be the type of franchise player that a team is built around. Teams will hate playing against him, but his team will love him. Watch this player, because soon, you won’t be able to miss him.

 

Vegas Full Prospect Rankings:

#1 Cody Glass

#2 Nick Suzuki

#3 Erik Brannstrom

#4 Nic Hague

#5 Lucas Elvenes

#6 Maxim Zhukov

#7 Ben Jones

#8 Zach Whitecloud

#9 Jake Leschyshyn

#10 Jack Dugan

#11 Dylan Coghlan

#12 Jonas Rondbjerg

Game Calendar

September 2018
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