May 27, 2024

Golden Knights aim to repeat with majority of Cup roster intact

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2023-24 regular season, which starts Oct. 10. Today, the Vegas Golden Knights:

 

2022-23 season: 51-22-9, first in Pacific Division; won Stanley Cup

 

Key arrivals

None 

 

Key departures

Reilly Smith, F: Traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 28, the same day the Golden Knights signed forward Ivan Barbashev to a five-year contract. Smith was one of the original “Golden Misfits,” acquired from the Florida Panthers in a trade related to the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. In Vegas history, he ranks second in goals (124), fourth in assists (162) and third in points (286) in the regular season, and first in assists (48) and second in points (66) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was third on the Golden Knights in goals (26) and fourth in points (56) last season, but is 32 with two years left on his contract. Barbashev, acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 26, is 27. … Laurent Brossoit, G: Signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets on July 1. He began the playoffs as the starting goalie for the Golden Knights and helped them defeat the Jets in five games in the Western Conference First Round, but sustained a torn groin against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the second round and did not play the remainder of the playoffs. Brossoit was 17-9-6 with a 2.66 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage and one shutout 35 games (31 starts) in two seasons for Vegas. … Jonathan Quick, G: Signed a one-year contract with the New York Rangers on July 1. He was 5-2-2 with a 3.13 GAA, .901 save percentage and one shutout in 10 games (nine starts) for the Golden Knights after he was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 2, one day after the Blue Jackets acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings. … Teddy Blueger, F: Signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1. He had six points (two goals, four assists) in 18 regular-season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in six playoff games after he was acquired in a trade with the Penguins on March 1. … Phil Kessel, F: An unrestricted free agent, Kessel had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 82 regular-season games and two assists in the playoffs but was a healthy scratch for the final 18 postseason games.

Video: NHL Tonight on Vegas winning the Stanley Cup

 

On the cusp

Pavel Dorofeyev, F: The 22-year-old signed a one-year contract July 19 after he had nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 18 games for Vegas and 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 32 games for Henderson of the American Hockey League last season. He was selected in the third round (No. 79) of the 2019 NHL Draft. … Brendan Brisson, F: The 21-year-old had 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) in 58 games for Henderson in his first full professional season after being selected in the first round (No. 29) of the 2020 NHL Draft. … Lukas Cormier, D: The 21-year-old had 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in 62 games for Henderson in his first pro season after being selected in the third round (No. 68) in the 2020 draft.

 

What they still need

Not much. The roster that won the Stanley Cup last season returns almost intact. The loss of Smith is significant practically and emotionally, but it’s offset by the arrival of Barbashev. Hill has helped solidify the goaltending and should make a good tandem with a healthy Logan Thompson. What the Golden Knights need most to repeat is good health and perhaps a depth piece or two prior to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline.

 

They said it

“We were not looking to bring anyone in from outside our organization. All of the decisions that we were making were on people that we just won a Stanley Cup with, so by definition, that makes those decisions difficult and challenging to make. But we feel that we got our way through it and are excited about what it could mean for the makeup of our roster.” — general manager Kelly McCrimmon

 

Fantasy focus

The top line featuring Barbashev, Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault has immense fantasy value individually and/ or as a stack. After winning the Stanley Cup last season, Barbashev should be viewed as a fringe top 150 overall player, Marchessault a fringe top 60 overall player and Eichel a top 30 overall player in fantasy drafts. Eichel in particular is an early target since he has not played over 70 games since 2018-19 with the Buffalo Sabres but had nearly a point-per-game last season with Vegas (66 points, 27 goals in 67 regular-season games). — Anna Dua

Video: Eichel and Barbashev’s impact during the Stanley Cup

 

Projected lineup

Ivan Barbashev — Jack Eichel — Jonathan Marchessault

Brett HowdenChandler StephensonMark Stone

Paul CotterWilliam KarlssonMichael Amadio

William CarrierNicolas RoyKeegan Kolesar

Alec MartinezAlex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabbShea Theodore

Nicolas HagueZach Whitecloud

Adin Hill

Logan Thompson

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