So says stat wizard and computer nerd Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic.
Make no mistake, the Vegas Golden Knights will probably be bad, very bad even, but the degree of badness might have been oversold. -Luszcyszyn
The computer model Luszcyszyn uses spit out a range of between 75-91 points for the Golden Knights, which in turn gives them an 18% chance of making the postseason, a 2% chance of winning the division, and a nearly unfathomable 1% chance of making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
The main component to the “success” is Vadim Shipachyov.
The 30-year-old forward had 76 points in 50 games last season and was above point-per-game in the two seasons prior to that. The KHL to NHL translation factor is 0.74, so in NHL terms that’s equal to 92, 67 and 67 point seasons. Last year is an obvious outlier, especially with him scoring on 27.1 per cent of his shots, and he won’t have as many talented linemates in Vegas, but it’s not outlandish to think he can score 55 to 60 points next season for Vegas. -Luszcyszyn
Here in Vegas, the outlook isn’t quite as rosy. William Hill sports books currently list the Golden Knights with a season point total of 69 and have them as a 9:1 underdog to make the playoffs.
At the end of the article, Luszcyszyn readily admits the Golden Knights are nearly impossible to project and that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if they underperform his computer’s model, but for the optimist crowd, 91 points looks pretty darn good, right?