NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 32 teams from Aug. 1-Sept. 1. Today, the top five prospects for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to NHL.com.

Golden Knights 32 in 32: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy projections

1. Lukas Cormier, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 68 pick in 2020 NHL Draft

2022-23 season: Henderson (AHL): 62 GP, 10-25-35

Cormier (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) won the Emile Bouchard Trophy as defenseman of the year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in back-to-back seasons with Charlottetown, leading QMJHL defensemen in points in 2020-21 (54) and 2021-22 (81).

Then, in his first season in the American Hockey League, he led Henderson defensemen in points.

“I think I just matured a little bit all around — just lower body, upper body, just my mental game,” he said. “Just having a year of pro under my belt, I think, is huge. Just have more confidence on the ice.”

The challenge now for the 21-year-old?

“Just prove that I can play well in the [defensive] zone as well as creating offense,” he said.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

2. Brendan Brisson, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 29 pick in 2020 NHL Draft

2022-23 season: Henderson (AHL): 58 GP, 18-19-37

Brisson (5-11, 179) tied for third in goals and finished fifth in points on Henderson in his first full professional season. Along with some of Vegas’ other top prospects, he got to be an extra skater during the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run.

“Just being around it was unbelievable,” he said. “It gave me a lot of motivation just to see how intense the games are, how important every single little play is. Just to be around, seeing them celebrate, makes me want to hold the Cup even more.”

The 21-year-old now knows what it takes and what he needs to do to excel at the next level.

“Just working on my overall game, defensively and all that,” he said, “and working on my skating and my first few steps.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: NHL Tonight on Vegas’ different approach to prospects

3. Kaedan Korczak, D

How acquired: Selected in second round (No. 41) in 2019 NHL Draft

2022-23 season: Vegas (NHL): 10 GP, 0-2-2; Henderson (AHL): 50 GP, 4-10-14

Korczak (6-3, 202) is considered NHL-ready after playing two full professional seasons, including time with Vegas. The 22-year-old played one game for the Golden Knights in 2021-22 and 10 last season.

He has been a stay-at-home defenseman as a pro, though he showed offensive ability in junior, putting up 49 points (11 goals, 38 assists) in 60 games with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League in 2019-20.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

4. Pavel Dorofeyev, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 79 pick in 2019 NHL Draft

2022-23 season: Vegas (NHL): 18 GP, 7-2-9; Henderson (AHL): 32 GP, 9-8-17

Dorofeyev (6-1, 194) could push for time with Vegas this season.

The 22-year-old had nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 10 games for the Golden Knights from March 12 to April 3, though he did not have a point in five games down the stretch and didn’t play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“Dorofeyev finished strong,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “[Young players] have opportunities to push through, right? That’s usually how your organization grows and gets better, when you have internal competition, so that’ll be good.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: VGK@STL: Dorofeyev gives Golden Knights lead in 3rd

5. Matyas Sapovaliv , F

How acquired: Selected with No. 48 pick in 2022 NHL Draft

2022-23 season: Saginaw (OHL): 61 GP, 27-29-56

Sapovaliv (6-3, 178) averaged almost a point a game for Saginaw in the Ontario Hockey League, and then the 19-year-old had 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 11 playoff games.

He also helped Czechia win silver at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, facing tough defensive assignments and producing seven assists in seven games.

“He was outstanding at World Juniors,” Golden Knights director of player development Wil Nichol said. “What a lot of people didn’t realize, he went out against the top line of every other team, including Canada. He had success not only in that shutdown role, but he had success offensively. We’re really happy with his season.”

Projected NHL arrival: 2024-25