The Golden Knights forward lineup is about as potent as any team in the NHL. They have two bonafide first lines, a third line that includes another top-six quality player, and a fourth line that should continue to get the job done.
No matter how Gerard Gallant opts to run out his 12 forwards, they’re going to be good. After that first 12 though, it gets thin, and quickly.
A lot can change between now and October 2nd, but as it stands, the most likely forwards to be in the lineup against the Sharks are as follows.
That leaves this group as the 2019-20 reserves.
|18-19 GP||Career GP||Career Goals||Career Points|
That group of 13 players played a total of 36 regular-season games with Zykov accounting for 28 of them. In the entire Golden Knights forward reserve group, there are 17 goals and 38 points and just 185 career games.
Let’s compare that last season.
|17-18 GP||Career GP*||Career Goals*||Career Points*|
Both Pirri and Lindberg each had more career games played, more goals, and more points than the entire 2019-20 reserve list!
Here, let me put that into one chart so you can see the staggering difference between the Golden Knights’ depth in 2018-19 compared to 2019-20.
|19-20 Reserves||18-19 Reserves|
|Prior Season GP||36||180|
|# of Players who played last in NHL season||3||7|
|Players w/ NHL experience||5||8|
To make matters worse, five of the 2019-20 reserves are under the age of 21, and it’s probable that only Cody Glass has a realistic shot of playing significant minutes.
Glass making the roster would push a player like Tomas Nosek to the reserve list, which would add 152 games, 16 goals, and 33 points (almost more than the entire reserve list combined). However, no matter how you slice it, the Golden Knights are running thin.
They can probably survive one injury, but two or three could be a massive issue. Last year, the Golden Knights were missing at least one forward in all 82 games, they were short multiple forwards in 77, and were missing at least three in 20 games.
If that happens again this year, the Golden Knights are in trouble. Unless they find another Ryan Carpenter on the waiver wire… or better yet, three.