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Golden Knights sign Bemidji State University defenseman Zach Whitecloud to entry-level contract

There’s a new defenseman in town.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Vegas Golden Knights Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed Bemidji State University defenseman Zach Whitecloud to a three-year entry-level contract, the team announced Thursday.

Whitecloud, 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, logged four goals and 19 points along with a minus-four rating through 36 games with the BSU Beavers this season. As a sophomore, Whitecloud led the Beavers with 51 blocked shots and registered 10 points while on the power play.

The Golden Knights confirmed that Whitecloud will join the team Friday in Buffalo.

Here’s a brief scouting report on Whitecloud from Golden Knights GM George McPhee:

He’s a mobile defenseman who moves the puck real well. He’s a safe player right now, we think he plays kind of conservatively. We believe that he could give us a lot more offensively and there’s lots of room for growth there, so I like that his base attributes are that he’s good, safe and conservative. And if we can build the offense into his game, that could be a pretty good player.

McPhee didn’t rule out that Whitecloud could see game action at some point this season, though it seems unlikely he’ll become a regular in the lineup (barring injuries).

Whitecloud will have a chance to earn a full-time role with the Golden Knights during training camp this summer.