By Jack Fenty
Their team motto is the “Golden Misfits” and that is exactly what they have turned out to be. A team that was formed through an expansion draft earlier this year is now fighting to have their names etched into the Stanley Cup representing a team in its first season in existence. In the following piece I will give a description of each “misfit” on the Knights team and depict how these players got to Vegas and their success this season.
Selected From: Columbus Blue Jackets
*Vegas took on David Clarkson’s massive contract…In return they received a 2017 1st round pick, a 2019 2nd round pick, and this guy named William Karlsson.
2016-17(CBJ)- 6 goals, 19 assists, +10 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 43 goals, 35 assists, +49 +/-.
-His nickname is “Wild Bill” and “wild” is the only way to describe the regular season Karlsson had for the Knights. Not only did Columbus give him away they gave the Knights a 1st and 2nd round pick! 43 goals in your face Columbus. Oh, and his playoff numbers aren’t too bad either, 6 goals and 7 assists in 15 games so far. What a story William Karlsson has been, he has now emerged as an elite center in the NHL and is obviously a key character in the success story of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Received From: Florida Panthers
*The Panthers traded Smith to Vegas for a fourth-round pick.
2016-17(FLA): 15 goals, 22 assists, -13 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 22 goals, 38 assists, +31 +/-.
-The Panthers clearly did not like the contract they had given Smith, 25 million dollars over 5 years. This trade made absolutely no sense for the Panthers, Smith had 37 points the year before! Smith is now a 1st liner, 60 goal scorer, and a potential Stanley Cup winner…good job Florida!
Selected From: Florida Panthers
2016-17(FLA)- 30 goals, 21 assists, -21 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 27 goals, 48 assists, +36 +/-.
-A 51-point scorer was given up for free to Vegas…Every team in the league would kill to add a player like that in the offseason. If you think 51 points is a lot the number went up when he joined the Knights to 75 points. The statistic that really stands out to me though is the +/- progression between his last Panthers season and the Knights regular season, a +57 diffrence. Lastly, Marchessault leads the team in points so far these playoffs with 18, 8 goals and 10 assists. Once again good job Florida!
*Vegas received both Erik Haula and Alex Tuch from the Wild so players such as Matt Dumba, Eric Staal, and Marco Scandella would not be taken.
2016-17(MIN)- 15 goals, 11 assists, +5 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 29 goals, 26 assists, -16 +/-.
-Minnesota literally told the Knights we will give you these two players if you do not take our other guys. Well Haula and the Knights have taken advantage of the opportunity and he has thrived with a huge uptick in points, oh and he’s playing in the Stanley Cup Finals and the Wild are home golfing, sad!
Selected From: St. Louis Blues
2016-17(STL)- 18 goals, 28 assists, -2 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 16 goals, 50 assists, 1 +/-.
-Perron’s point total this season sets a career high with 66. Perron has thrived in the Vegas playing system, a system that is all about speed and quickness. He is on the second power-play unit and has 7 assists in 11 games so far these playoffs.
Selected From: Nashville Predators
2016-17(NSH): 23 goals, 18 assists, -10 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 25 goals, 19 assists, -11 +/-.
-Going into this season everyone around the league thought “The Real Deal Neal” was by far going to be the best player for the Knights the upcoming season. While Neal undeniably had a solid season, he was nowhere near being the best player on this team. Neal struggles defensively and can be seen out of position at times. On the other hand, Neal has had a nice playoff run so far with 4 goals and 5 assists. Neal lost in the finals last year with Nashville, wherever the guy goes the team wins.
*Released by San Jose Sharks, claimed by Vegas in December.
2017-18(SJS)- 9 goals, 5 assists, +1 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 1 goals, 1 assists, 0 +/-.
-While Carpenter struggled in the regular season, he has 5 assists in 13 games in the playoffs so far. This third line needs to step up for this series.
Alex Tuch- #89
Selected From: Minnesota Wild
*1st round draft pick of Wild in 2014, Knights were told they can have him and Haula if they did not choose other players not protected.
2016-17(Iowa Wild)- 18 goals, 19 assists, +10 +/-.
2017-18(VGK)- 15 goals, 22 assists, +3 +/-.
-This was a great get by the Knights, a 1st rounder with a lot of potential, might as well take a chance on him…That has immensely payed off for the Knights and the 22-year-old Tuch. He has 6 goals and 3 assists so far these playoffs and his regular season numbers weren’t to bad either. Tuch will be huge part of this organization for years to come.
Selected From: Dallas Stars
2016-17(DAL)- 3 goals, 9 assists, -7 +/-/
2017-18(VGK)- 11 goals, 16 assists, -6 +/-.
- Once again, another player with more points this season than last. Eakin has 3 goals and 1 assist so far these playoffs. Eakin has 3 goals and 1 assist so far these playoffs.
Selected From: Philadelphia Flyers
2016-17 season: 4 goals, 4 assists, -1 +/-.
2017-18 season: 6 goals, 10 assists, +5 +/-.
-The fourth line center on the Knights and boy does this guy provide energy but also stability on a super quick Vegas team…His line does not put up a lot of points but most of the time you will see them forechecking ferociously or blocking shots in the defensive zone.
Selected From: Detroit Red Wings
2016-17(Grand Rapid Griffins): 15 goals, 26 assists, +4 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 7 goals, 8 assists, +6 +/-.
-In game 4 against the Jets Nosek worked hard and capitalized on a giveaway from Hellebuyck, Bellemare passed the puck in front and Nosek buried it. That goals shows the hustle and heart of this fourth line.
*Received him from Pittsburgh at the trade-deadline via trade.
-Reaves only played 21 games for the Knights during the regular season and has only played 6 in the postseason but he scored the series clinching goal against the Jets in game 5 Monday night. This goal literally symbolizes the Knights season, players making plays at the right time and that is exactly what Reaves did.
Selected From: LA Kings
2016-17(LAK): 2 goals, 2 assists, +1 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 5 goals, 10 assists, +26 +/-.
Playoffs: 2 goals, 3 assists, +4 +/-.
Selected From: Washington Capitals
2016-17(WSH): 3 goals, 14 assists, +22 +/-.
2017-18: 5 goals, 31 assists, +19 +/-.
-If you have watched any Knights games so far these playoffs you will know that Schmidt is absolutely balling, he is playing the best hockey of his career and is making plays all over the ice. Schmidt will be playing with a chip on BOTH shoulders this series being that Washington let Vegas take him. Schmidt has 2 goals, 4 assists, and is a +7. This guy will be a huge factor in the finals.
Selected From: Anaheim Ducks
2016-17(ANA): 2 goals, 7 assists, -6 +/-.
2016-17(San Diego Gulls): 5 goals, 15 assist, +11 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 6 goals, 23 assists, +5 +/-.
-Shea started the season playing with Vegas’s AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. In his short time there he scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 8 games, he then got called up to the big club where he is not looked back. He has 2 goals, 5 assists, and a +5 +/- so far these playoffs.
Selected From: Calgary Flames
2016-17(CAL): 4 goals, 12 assists, +2 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 5 goals, 18 assists, +6 +/-.
Selected From: Vancouver Canucks
2016-17(VAN): 2 goals, 11 assists, -1 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 2 goals, 12 assists, +8 +/-. (30 games)
-Sbisa has been injured for a lot of the season, he was put on IR earlier in the season for a hand injury and he also had an “undisclosed” injury in the beginning of the playoffs. He played in the last two games against the Sharks and played in all five in the Jets series. Sbisa will be in the lineup in the cup finals.
Selected From: Boston Bruins
2016-17(BOS): 6 goals, 7 assists. 0 +/-.
2017-18(VGK): 10 goals, 31 assists, -4 +/-.
-So far these playoffs Miller has been playing awesome, he has 2 goals, 1 assists, and is a +7. It is the depth defenseman that need to play solidly to make a team win and Miller did that in the regular season and is still doing that now.
Selected From: Pittsburgh Penguins
2016-17(PIT): 18-10, 3.02 GAA, .909 Save Percentage.
2017-18(VGK): 29-13, 2.24 GAA, .927 Save Percentage.
- The Penguins did not protect Fleury because they had another stud goaltender in Matt Murray, so this move is not that bad for Pitt. “Flower” is on a mission these playoffs and it’s showing, he is playing the best hockey of his career with a 12-3 record, 1.68 GAA, .947 Save Percentage, and 4 shutouts. If Vegas ends up winning the cup Fleury will the Conn Smythe in a landslide.
-Was fired from the Florida Panthers last season and then became the Golden Knights coach. Gallant will win the Jack Adams award, awarded to the top coach in the league. A lot of the Golden Knights success must be credited to Gallant, he took players that had never played together and created a team fighting for the Stanley Cup. Click the link on his name and take a look at the picture; Gallant had to wait for a cab after being fired from the Panthers. Oh, the irony.
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