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Will Deryk Engelland’s Role Be Reduced in 2019-2020?

Now that the wait is over and fan favorite Deryk Engelland signed his new contract to stay in Las Vegas, it’s time to discuss his future impact. First off, let’s note that Engelland will receive less money in 2019-2020 but will have a chance to make up for it.

At 37-years-old you’d assume his overall presence would begin to drop off. After all, his time on ice dwindled from 20:17 ATOI in 2017-18, to 19:53 ATOI in 2018-19. I’m being sarcastic, that’s not much of a difference. Same can be said for his penalty kill minutes, it’s virtually equal to VGK’s first season and I could argue he was as good if not better in 2018-19.

Just take a look at Engelland’s 2019 Postseason penalty killing performance.

Game 1: 4:26 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/5 San Jose Power Plays

Game 2: 9:19 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/8 San Jose Power Plays

Game 3: 4:16 PK Minutes (Team Leader), 1 Goal/3 Power Plays

Game 4: 4:31 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/4 San Jose Power Plays

Game 5: 3:15 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/3 San Jose Power Plays

Game 6: 2:45 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/2 San Jose Power Plays

Game 7: 7:56 PK Minutes (Game Leader), *4 Goals/9 San Jose Power Plays

Total: 36:28 PK Minutes, 5 Goals/34 Power Plays, 0.13 San Jose PPG when Engelland was on the ice.

*You all know why there’s an asterisk

So just on defensive special teams alone, Engelland’s return is a positive one. However, the issue could be on even-strength. How will the Golden Knights coaching staff deploy the elder statesmen this season? Is it possible Jon Merrill, Nick Holden(if still on the roster), or Rookie d-men see more time on 5v5 than in 2018-19. That direction would balance Engelland’s minutes under 18-19 minutes a game. Which could be more beneficial for the team.

A big part of my game is killing penalties-Deryk Engelland

Another element to Engelland’s 2019-2020 usage will be who he is paired up with. Over the past two seasons, it’s been a consistent dose of Engelland and Shea Theodore. I’d assume with the uncertainty of the younger defenseman, that pairing would remain the same to start training camp and the season. That doesn’t mean it will stay that way, and frankly I don’t think it will. With the possibility of a rookie in the lineup nightly, Vegas may want to break in the young blueliner with an experienced, reliable defenseman like Engelland. It worked for Theodore.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In a perfect world, Engelland would see less even-strength minutes and continue to be a rock on the penalty kill. Keep in mind the Golden Knights paid him less money to stay which could be a sign the organization sees Engelland playing a lesser role this season. Or it’s just another shrewd business move by the front office.

Either way, subtracting 5v5 minutes means fresher legs on the PK. It’s an easy, obvious approach to distribute minutes and get the most out of the 37-year-old in 2019-2020. It’s almost too obvious if a half-wit like me can figure it out. Clearly he’s valued and trusted on the ice by the coaching staff which would lead you to believe they expect the same #5 out there. And how can you fault them after two successful seasons with Vegas?

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5 Comments

  1. Carl

    As beloved as Engelland deservedly is, it really would be nice if he takes a job in the front office until a coaching job opens in the VGK organization. It’s time for a Schuldt, Bischoff, Hague, or Whitecloud.

    • John

      Did you even read it? He’s still a beauty on the PK and after losing Belly and theres rumors that Eakin could be gone too. PLUS we got him at league minimum and for only 1 year. Plus, PLUS he said they’re prolly thinking less even strength time. Plus, plus, PLUS he is a veteran blue liner who helped Teddy grow into more of his potential, something they are hopeful he can do again with whoever they bring up to replace Holden(I hope it’s holden whose gone lol).

      • Carl

        Yup, read it. Engelland skates like a rock. He’s a great guy but we don’t need rocks in ice. It’s Schuldt or Hague time, and they can be mentored by Schmitty or McNabb. Just because he’s on the cheap doesn’t mean the Golden Knights can’t be better with an infusion of talented young guys who can move around a little bit.

        • Joe

          He is going to be Bernie Lomax on skates.
          I am still hopeful they can move Holden for a conditional 7th round pick in 2024.
          That leaves:
          Schmidt – McNabb
          Theodore – Merrill (?)
          Engelland – Schuldt – Bischoff – Whitecloud
          I think Hague play one more full year in Rosemont, whether he needs it or not.
          You need to see if the young guys can actually play at this level, and giving them sheltered minutes helps.
          Basically if they can keep him around 40 games, which hits most of the bonuses, he wont be a complete boat anchor.
          Does this actually happen? No chance. Gallant wont let it happen.

  2. vgk2019

    Engelland is a solid dman in his own zone, but he needs to be rested more often, AND the Knights need to start breaking in younger blood…. I expect Hague, Schuldt and Whitecloud, at differing points in the season, and also by occasional injury replacement, to get plenty of VGK action this season, with hopefully Holden gone and Gusev signed.

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