Bemidji State’s Whitecloud gives up junior, senior seasons to sign with NHL’s Golden Knights

The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights have signed Bemidji State sophomore defenseman Zach Whitecloud to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Whitecloud, who forgoes his last two seasons of NCAA eligibility, is expected to join the team Saturday when the Golden Knights travel to Buffalo for a matinee with the Sabres.

He joins BSU alum Brad Hunt on the Golden Knights blue line.

In 36 games this season, Whitecloud finished seventh on the Beavers in scoring with 19 points, which included a career-high mark of 15 assists and a pair of game-winning goals. Whitecloud also finished the season with a team-best 51 blocked shots and was the anchor of a BSU power-play unit that set a Division I-era program mark for efficiency, converting 31 of 143 opportunities.

In 77 appearances over two seasons with Bemidji State, Whitecloud posted 36 points (seven goals, 29 assists) and finished his career with an even plus-minus rating.

A WCHA Scholar-Athlete honoree and member of the WCHA All-Academic Team, Whitecloud was named to the 2016-17 WCHA All-Rookie Team.