Knights On Ice’s 2020-21 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. The KOI staff created their own Top 25 Under 25 ballots. Each individual writer’s ballot was then used to generate a composite score that forms the final ballot.
We are back again with this year’s version of our Top 25 Under 25, highlighting the top young players in the Vegas Golden Knights organization. Today, we start with 2019 third-round pick Layton Ahac, who’s becoming a solid stay-at-home defenseman.
- Position: Defenseman
- Age: 19
- Currently playing: Ohio State, sophomore
- Nationality: Canadian
There’s some intrigue surrounding Ahac. He’s not an offensive defenseman that will jump off the page like other names on our countdown, but he’s shown some flashes that make you wonder if there’s untapped potential.
For example, I don’t care if it’s college hockey. You make a pass like this to lead to a tying goal, there’s something there.
Layton Ahac (Defenseman, VGK 2019 5th Round pick) makes a 108-foot tape-to-tape pass to set up the game tying goal for Ohio State. #VGK #VGKTalk #Vegasborn #GoldenKnights pic.twitter.com/nrbg6o9iQf— Jack Manning (@NHLJackManning) November 24, 2019
And then he shows this kind of play, jumping into the offense and executing a picture-perfect cross-crease pass for a goal.
Layton Ahac (Defense, VGK 2019 3rd round) snags an assist on this cross-crease pass.#VegasBorn #VGKProspects pic.twitter.com/GuxNS4cG3N— Jack Manning (@NHLJackManning) December 18, 2020
Before making the jump to play at Ohio State, Ahac was a heavy assist man for the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League. Ahac had 61 points in 110 regular season games but was a factor in Prince George’s run to the 2019 BCHL title, averaging a point per game (five goals, 12 assists) in 17 postseason games.
That kind of play is why Ahac was able to rise up draft boards and why Vegas felt compelled to take a guy that comes off as a stay-at-home defenseman, to showing this kind of offensive potential.
Ahac scored his first collegiate goal on Dec. 18 with a shot from the point. The release on this shot is unique. It doesn’t look like he gets all of it at the point of the wind-up, but it’s effective enough to beat the Arizona State goalie.
Career goal #⃣1⃣ for sophomore defenseman Layton Ahac put the Buckeyes on the board.— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) December 18, 2020
McIntyre and Sadlocha assisted on the PPG.#GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/CWRY1BBPMG
Right now, it’s just a matter of needing to see more from Ahac before ranking him higher on the list. There’s no doubt he can do that, and continued success at Ohio State and future development camps can only increase that optimism.