After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2021-22 regular season, which starts Oct. 12. Today, the Vegas Golden Knights:
2020-21 season: 40-14-2, second in Honda West Division; lost in Stanley Cup Semifinals
Evgenii Dadonov, F: The 32-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on July 28 for defenseman Nick Holden and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, scored 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) in 55 games last season. Dadonov scored at least 25 goals in each of the previous three seasons with the Florida Panthers. … Nolan Patrick, F: The 22-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 17 for forward Cody Glass, scored nine points (four goals, five assists) in 52 games last season. The No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Patrick scored 70 points (30 goals, 40 assists) in 197 games over three seasons with the Flyers and was coached by Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon from 2014-16 with Brandon of the Western Hockey League. … Brett Howden, F: The 23-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on July 17 for defenseman prospect Nick DeSimone and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft, scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 42 games last season. Howden scored 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) in 178 games over three seasons with New York. … Laurent Brossoit, G: The 28-year-old, who signed a two-year contract July 28, was 6-6-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 14 games (11 starts) for the Winnipeg Jets last season.
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Marc-Andre Fleury, G: The face of the franchise since the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and winner of the Vezina Trophy last season was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward prospect Mikael Hakkarainen on July 27. Fleury was 26-10-0 with a 1.98 GAA, .928 save percentage and six shutouts in 36 games (all starts) last season and 117-60-14 with a 2.41 GAA, .917 save percentage and 23 shutouts in four seasons with Vegas. He was 28-19 with a 2.25 GAA, .920 save percentage and six shutouts in 47 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Golden Knights. … Ryan Reaves, F: The physical fourth-line forward was traded to the Rangers on July 29 for a third-round pick in the 2022 draft. Reaves scored five points (one goal, four assists) and had 27 penalty minutes in 37 games last season and scored 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) and had 158 penalty minutes in 209 games over four seasons with Vegas. … Cody Glass, F: The first draft pick in Golden Knights history (No. 6, 2017), Glass scored 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 27 games last season and 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 66 games with Vegas over the past two seasons. … Nick Holden, D: He had two assists in 17 games last season and scored 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists) in 139 games over three seasons with Vegas.
On the cusp
Peyton Krebs, F: The 20-year-old had one assist in four games with the Golden Knights and five points (one goal, four assists) in five games with Henderson of the American Hockey League last season. The No. 17 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Krebs scored 231 points (62 goals, 169 assists) in 199 games for Winnipeg of the WHL from 2016-21. … Dylan Coghlan, D: The 23-year-old, who is a restricted free agent, scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 29 games for Vegas last season. … Logan Thompson, G: The 24-year-old was 16-6-1 with a 1.96 GAA, .943 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 games with Henderson last season. … Kaedan Korczak, D: The 20-year-old, who was a second-round pick (No. 41) in the 2019 draft, had two assists in 11 games with Henderson and scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in 15 games with Kelowna of the WHL last season.
What they still need
A No. 1 center. That said, McCrimmon said the Golden Knights are happy with their centers after adding two this offseason in Patrick and Howden, and Krebs could crack the roster. Patrick is slated for the bottom six but could benefit from a change of scenery. Don’t be surprised if he eventually moves into the top six to play with Stone.
They said it
“As an overview, really pleased with how this period of time has gone for our team. We’re in a good spot… We’ve used the money that we had available to us, we’ve addressed the needs that we identified going into this time frame, and we’re anxious to get ready for training camp as we move into the next season.” — general manager Kelly McCrimmon
Robin Lehner enters the season as the No. 1 goalie option after Fleury was traded. Lehner’s save percentage over the past four seasons (.918) shows his consistency, and he has the luxury of playing on the best team in the Pacific Division. Fantasy managers should target Lehner among the top three goalies, and he has the ceiling of finishing first at the position. — Rob Reese
Max Pacioretty — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Mattias Janmark — Nolan Patrick — Evgenii Dadonov
William Carrier — Brett Howden — Nicolas Roy
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague — Zach Whitecloud