Vegas Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25: Dylan Coghlan impresses in first AHL campaign

Dylan Coghlan is an intriguing option for the Knights as the competition for their sixth defenseman spot heats up.

Knights On Ice’s 2019-20 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. Six Knights On Ice writers 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 now at No. 12 on our Top 25 Under 25 list, and this is the area where you’ll begin to find future NHLers. The subject of today’s article, Chicago Wolves defenseman Dylan Coghlan, is certainly a future NHLer, and that time could possibly come a lot sooner than most would expect.

No. 12: Dylan Coghlan
Position: D
Age: 21 (February 19, 1998)
Size: 6-foot-2, 190lbs
Nationality: Canadian

Coghlan is a dynamic offensive defenseman who put up spectacular numbers in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Tri-City Americans. He went pro last season and his game translated seamlessly. Coghlan finished with a respectable 40 points in 66 games for the AHL’s Western Conference Champion.

Coghlan’s 15 goals placed him first on the team’s blue line and eighth overall. Nicolas Hague, a former second-round draft selection, finished the season with 13 goals and is the consensus pick for the open slot on the Golden Knights’ defense this coming season. While Hague has more of a complete defensive game, there’s no denying the offensive spark Coghlan brings, despite going undrafted. His breakout season brings back memories of Erik Brannstrom.

Coghlan doesn’t have the pedigree, hype or all-around skill of Brannstrom, but there are similarities. Both are dynamic with the puck, both could eventually become legitimate threats on the power play at the NHL level and both are/were seemingly stuck with the Wolves when they may be ready to make the jump to the big club.

Another year or two in the AHL will only make Coghlan better. He can improve in his own zone, especially playing alongside the likes of Jake Bischoff and Zach Whitecloud or Nic Hague. He may have the highest upside of the bunch, but we’d need more of a sample size to determine that. Seeing Coghlan get preseason time against bigger, faster and more skilled competition will be fun when the time comes.

For an undrafted guy who earned a contract in development camp, Coghlan serves as one of the more intriguing young blueliners in Vegas’ system. Expect him to spend at least another year in the AHL while making a case for a future promotion. It really is hard to believe he went undrafted.

Dylan Coghlan in a nutshell — good size with dynamic puck skills and room to grow in his own end.

Previously in Vegas Golden Knights Preseason 2019 Top 25 Under 25: