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Golden Knights In 2020

The Hockey News is doing a series called “2020 Vision” in which they attempt to predict the future of what each NHL team will look like three years from now. Last week, they took on the Golden Knights roster.

Vegas will be weak at center this year and it will likely be a sore spot until Glass takes the throne – and that’s if he takes it, because we are projecting on an 18-year-old here. Continuity will also be key, as roster turnover must be kept to an acceptable level so the team can gel over the years. -Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News

While Kennedy believes the Golden Knights have to be careful about roster turnover, I believe the exact opposite. Of the 30 players selected by the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, Kennedy has 12 still on the roster in 2020 (plus Tuch and Theodore), I expect that number to be closer to five or six.

Here’s my 2020 Golden Knights…

First off, the Golden Knights will win the 2018 Lottery and select Rasmus Dahlin. I added Hague to the third line on the defense. Also, Jake Leschyshyn who was drafted in the second round by the Golden Knights (and has a torn ACL) cracked the list.

Two names should jump off the page here, first Carl Hagelin. He’s got two years left on his contract before hitting unrestricted free agency. It’s a bit of a shot in the dark, but if the Golden Knights are going to the playoffs in year three, they’ll need to make some big UFA moves.

The other is Nicklas Backstrom. Washington is going to eventually have to start completely over. They’ve begun the rebuild process a bit this offseason, but if/when things don’t work out, they’ll have to go all in on a rebuild. After the 2019 season, Vegas will trade for Backstrom’s UFA rights, and will sign him before July 1st.

Finally, the goalies. No, I do not expect either to be here long term. Fleury will be out of here either at this deadline or the next and Pickard will take over. Hopefully I’m wrong and Pickard surprises, but I don’t expect him to be the long term goalie of the future. I’ve slotted in Jiri Patera and Oscar Dasnk, but that will be a major weak spot in 2020 if it’s not Pickard.

Go ahead, bookmark this article, you’re going to be shocked at how accurate it is in three years. Feel free to post yours in the comments too, it’ll be worth a good laugh in 1000 days.

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8 Comments

  1. KD

    When will we get to see Cody Glass get his first NHL start? These lists almost firm up my Jersey pick with either Reilly or Shea.

    Great article.

  2. James

    ‘It’s a bit of a shot in the dark, but if the Golden Knights are going to the playoffs in year three, they’ll need to make some big UFA moves.’

    I am surprised that they didn’t try to sign Karl Alzner …

    Per Luke Fox

    John Carlson
    Age on July 1, 2018: 28
    Position: Defence
    2017-18 salary cap hit: $3.97 million
    Bargaining chips: World junior gold medallist. Member of Team USA. Washington Capitals‘ ice-time leader at 22:42 per game. Power-play threat. Put up between 32 and 55 points in six straight full seasons.

    What the future holds: A skilled and experienced puck-moving, right-shot defenceman under the age of 30? “Yes, please,” says the entire NHL.

    While Carlson has been an important fixture in Washington since getting drafted in 2008’s first round, GM Brian MacLellan has his hands full with the 2017 UFA class first. Decisions must be made this summer on Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner, T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov … with Carlson’s next contract in back of mind.

    If the Ducks do lock up Fowler, does Carlson pass up a chance to become the undisputed No. 1 UFA defenceman of 2018 and create a lucrative bidding war?

  3. LC

    Where is Vadim Shipachev in the actual lineup?

  4. Great idea for an article (I think you and I were discussing it on Twitter). But can you clarify something? The Hockey News article is projecting a lineup for the 2019-20 season, but it looks like you’re talking about the 2020-21 season, by mention of Backstrom being a UFA. That might make a bit of a difference.

    I’ve got a prospective lineup for the 2019-20 season, if you’re curious to see it – but I haven’t tried the 2020-21 season.

  5. Bent Hermit

    Unless the team is trying to tank, unloading flower before having a true number 1 goalie is a mistake. He is older but he has a lot of playoff experience. His regular season numbers was not great but he definitely stole a few playoff games for the pens this year. Everything I have read about him is that he is a great vet to have in the locker room.

  6. Bent Hermit

    As far as Hagelin goes I don’t think that he will make it to the trade deadline with the pens. I think he will be traded for a 3c since they have a couple of really good wingers ready to make the jump up. Since the pens broke up the HBK line his numbers are not that great.

    • Bent Hermit

      If you’re looking for a SC vet to lead the young guys, Hornqvist is the better pick. He’s older but still has 4 or 5 years of good hockey in him. The pens are not going to be able to afford him with all of their young guys that they are going to have to sign. I think his contract is up the end of this year.

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