Golden Knights’ new additions make them contenders again
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
LAST SEASON: 51-24-7, 109 points. First place Pacific Division. Lost to Washington Capitals in Stanley Cup Final
COACH: Gerard Gallant (second season, eighth NHL season).
ADDED: LW Max Pacioretty, C Paul Stastny, D Nick Holden
LOST: RW James Neal, LW David Perron, D Luca Sbisa
PLAYER TO WATCH: William Karlsson. Before last season, Karlsson’s previous career highs were nine goals and 20 points, numbers he reached in 2015-16. Last season, he was the catalyst for the Golden Knights’ high-octane offense by finishing with 43 goals and 78 points in the regular season. He agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million extension over the summer and will be looking to prove he’s worth every dollar and deserving of a bigger contract next summer.
OUTLOOK: After their run to the Stanley Cup Final, the losses of Neal and Perron meant the Golden Knights would take a significant hit to their offense. But the additions of Stastny and Pacioretty immediately made Vegas a contender again. Shea Theodore ended his holdout, and when fellow-defenseman Nate Schmidt returns from his 20-game suspension in November, the Knights may be favored to win the Western Conference again.
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