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Noah Hanifin Has Been “Even Better Than Expected” So Far In Las Vegas

From @GoldenKnights on Twitter/X

When the Golden Knights acquired Noah Hanifin at the Trade Deadline, they knew they were getting a great defenseman. What they didn’t know was that within two months of arriving, he’d have already made a case to be considered the best D-man on the team.

Noah hit the ground running. He’s a guy our pro scouts had a lot of regard for. He was probably better than we expected, he’s that good of a player. -Kelly McCrimmon

In 19 regular season games, Hanifin scored two goals and added 10 assists while leading the team in ice time down the stretch. He unseated Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore as the quarterback of the first power play unit and became one of the first guys over the boards when the Golden Knights had a penalty to kill.

Then, when the playoffs rolled around, Hanifin took his game to an even higher level. He scored the game-winning goal in two of VGK’s three wins against Dallas and became Bruce Cassidy’s go-to option when the Golden Knights had an offensive zone draw.

Jack Eichel made the comment to me today that’s he’s played with Noah Hanifin and he’s known Noah Hanifin since he was nine years old and he didn’t know he was this good. -McCrimmon

The next step in Hanifin’s career is exciting for Vegas. The 27-year-old signed an eight-year contract shortly after arriving in Vegas and he’s ready to take his game to the next level for the Golden Knights.

I owe it to this organization to come in and be my best self on and off the ice. I’m just going to try to keep getting better, keep improving. I think my first couple of months here were great. I was super happy with how everything went, the guys, the room, just being a member of this organization was awesome. I’m happy I’m going to be here a long time. -Noah Hanifin

Hanifin’s arrival gives the Golden Knights all sorts of options on their back end. With another player in the mix who can play in all situations and thrive offensively, it should pave the way for a cap-space-freeing trade that will help Vegas retain more of their offensive weapons set to hit free agency.

They may not have necessarily been looking for one when they made the trade, but the Golden Knights may have just found their next superstar.


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  1. Pierre S Martin

    In order to free up cap space Vegas would have to trade someone and that may have to be Shea Theodore. He would bring the most in a trade. I don’t think anyone would want Pietrangelo’s contract.

    • Emilio

      Petro is still very good. Theo becomes a liability way too often. Especially during high pressure. He’d be the best move this summer. Would bring in good value.

      • John W

        Agree – Theo has become way more prone to TO’s. Also, people on this site saying “Trade Petro” clearly don’t understand that he has a full no movement contract. HE ISNT going anywhere.

        Trade Theo, and Howden. Use the money to sign Amadio, Marchy and Stephenson (subject to price).

        • Emmanuel

          NMC in practice dont mean that much. They can tell him they want to move him and he can and might say no but there are 3 issues:

          1. Pride. He might have a “im going to show you” attitude.
          2. He might realize he might have a bigger role with another team.
          3. His post playing career. He will want to be known as a company man.

  2. knights fan in minny

    no trade theo you need that strong d- core

  3. JB

    If we can get a good return for Theo, then now is the time.

    • knights fan in minny

      ptro is getting old to don’t get rid of your d talent

  4. ThG

    Noah wasn’t better than expected, Noah has always been a good offensive and defensive d man. He played as expected.

    Strat had him offense 4, defense 4, and short handed 4, all excellent. skating 1-12 , decent and 4L on assists. One could make a case that he didn’t always play up these lofty levels at times. Break away 1-3 which is decent for a D man, compared to Hertyl 1-4 which is not that great.

    Heryl on other hand strat rated as 4/3/1 breakaway 4, faceoff 3, which is excellent and skating 1-10, not that great. He “only” scored 23 goals last year with 41 assists. His production has slowly gone down.

    I gave Theo’s stats a long time ago, and Mantha’s a few weeks ago.

    • Emmanuel

      3 Defense? The narrative was Hertl was below avg defensively. Kinda surprising.

      • ThG

        Emm, that was last year’s rating. When the new cards come out later this year. I will get back to you. Will also be doing a one on one. 2017 vs 2023 vs 2024 Golden Knight match game, cage match, round robin, winner take all to see which team were really better. I am betting on 2017 because MAF stats were awesome that year and team had balanced scoring.

        Can’t wait for the WWE match up to unfold.

        • Emmanuel

          On paper thats the best team.

          As for Hertls D, hes been thought of as a 2 most of his career IRL, not a turnstile but below average.

  5. ThG

    breaking (who in their right mind would not have predicted this would happen)

    JERUSALEM—After President Biden gave his ultimatum of withholding offensive weapons to the Jewish state if Israel were to launch an invasion of Rafah, rocket attacks rained down on Israel on Friday from Rafah, with more rockets fired on Saturday.

    Hamas launched rockets from Rafah at the southern Israeli city of Beersheva on Friday for the first time since December, as Iranian proxy Hezbollah sent a barrage of rockets into the northern Israel city of Kiryat Shmona, causing a massive fire. Within the Gaza Strip on Friday, four Israeli soldiers were killed.

    “When administration officials attacked or berated Israel publicly previously during the war, Hamas hardened its demands in return for releasing hostages, in fact delaying and minimizing the chances of success of the delicate negotiation,” Jonathan Conricus said Saturday. Conricus served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for 24 years as a combat commander in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

  6. NAM

    Can we stop having posts that mention trading or getting rid of Peitrangelo? The dude has a full NO MOVE CLAUSE and no player in their right mind is leaving this situation. Vegas gave him a whooping 7 year $61,600,000 contract and they will pay every penny of it. This isn’t Hertl and the sharks where Hertl gave the ok to be traded. The sharks are a manure ship, on fire, and sinking. It was a no brainer to waive the no-move to get out. It will never happen to a Vegas ‘no-move’ player, not while they are competitive and a top org.

    • ThG

      can we trade petro for

    • Emmanuel

      See above. Its a business. These guys dont care where they play as long as theyre paid, family issues might be a factor but the know they might have to move to make as much money in the limited time they play.

      NMC are common because when push comes to shove they dont mean much.

  7. ThG

    don’t believe the shit the “experts” on the left are pushing on rest of us, they are clueless, incompetent, inept and completely out in left field. IDeologues who don’t know squat about , well, squat.

    • JB

      And you know it all, right? Of course you do?

      • ThG

        yes JB I know what is going on in the real world.

        • JB

          So do a lot of us. The REAL world. Not the world of fantasy theories . That’s your area! Enjoy!

          • ThG

            science doesn’t support this climate change garbage, the earth has been warming for over 10,000 years as Senator Kenedy pointed out these so called liberal “experts” don’t know squat about squat. Pretty much called out these idiots. AS matter of fact, every one in Biden’s circle is an idiot. We have a liberal arts ideologue , Granholm ex Governor of Michigan, as Secretary of Energy. Our Governor , Lombardo, called her an idiot to her face. She has no business being an energy department official. She knows nothing of energy. Failed ex Govenor at that. Then there is the finance expert in Biden’s cabinet. He was exposed as someone , last week, who knows nothing of finance. Then there is that blowhard, Mayorkas. He got impeached. What an arrogant know nothing this guy turns out to be. Every time he goes before Congress he makes a fool of himself. Back to subject matter: climate change is hoax. Over 30,000 real scientists signed a petition saying as much a few short years ago.

            an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic:
            “he doesn’t consider himself a political ideologue, preferring to arrive at conclusions pragmatically”

          • ThG

            must feel proud to be wrong over 50 times

  8. knights fan in minny

    soon the e usa will be better off with the don in charge and mush head joe will be back home with the elder abuser Jilly pooh

  9. ThG

    happy mothers day to all you mothers out there !

    Just took mother to her dinner, a buffet !! What happened to all Vegas buffets?
    Well Fauci’s china derived COVID did them in. Yep folks. And the Senate is having more hearings on his lies, his department , under him, funded the lab in Wuhan. Yep.

  10. Pistol Pete




    Denisenko or Morelli


    Marchessault and Dorofeyev extended, Stephenson, Carrier, Amadio, Mantha and Martinez are not. Whitecloud traded.

    • ThG

      when did these trades and signings happen ?

      Or are we back into Pete and Repeats fantasy land ?

      • Pistol Pete

        As you wish ThQ

        • Pistol Pete

          “Fantasy land” or informed deductive reasoning? Appears Jesse Granger has if figured as I do including trade Whitecloud and replace him with Korczak which will free up around $2m. Obviously you extend Marchessault, Dorofeyev and Korczak leaving little space for anyone else. As I suggested they could trade Theo but personally I hope not because a healthy Shea is a superb puck mover and defender. If he did trade him I would hope for an elite depth forward along the lines of a Frank Vatrano not keeping Stephenson.

          • ThG

            still fantasy land, I see no links to any real deals

          • JB

            Theo is a very good puck mover , when health, but I don’t think he fits into any classification as a superb defender. He has been a liability in our d-zone for most his career here. He has scored some big goals for us, but has given up many with his soft d play!

          • ThG

            I agree, anyone who thinks Theo is above average defender, what did Hank Kimball call him, superb ? Is on drugs.

            STrat had him as a 2 defender last year, this year likely a 1; doesn’t get any more “superb”, Strat doesn’t give 0 ratings.

  11. Pistol Pete

    Dallas can count their lucky stars (no pun intended) VGK was not a fully up to speed roster entering the playoffs. Even with that the best series thus far. I am watching all these teams. None plays a more complete game than Vegas. Not sure about 2024-25 though. Trading Theo notwithstanding, and given the puck moving D he is when fully heathy I don’t expect them to do that, Stephenson, Carrier, Amadio and Martinez will be gone, so Dorofeyev, Brisson, Cotter and Korczak will have to make up the difference. Won’t be easy.

  12. Pistol Pete

    Pushing for Pete to win his first Cup. I like the guy. Good sense of humor. Hockey skills aside, strikes me as being fair and open-minded as well.
    I like people like him. People with a good heart.

  13. Pistol Pete

    JB I would have to agree as for “superb” I probably should not have put puck mover and defender in the same description. At least I am willing to make a concession when I may have erred. Calling Theo a superb defender may be going too far but are we not splitting hairs? Have you studied his postseason stats and are we giving full credit for the countless defensive plays he has made over the years or highlighting the recent times he has not such as the flubbed breakout that cost a goal in game 7? All these elite D have defensive holes even Cale Makar, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi etc. The Theo detractors can hope McCrimmon trades him. In any case I’ll go with his decision because he knows one helluva a lot more about it than anyone here including yours truly.

    • Pistol Pete

      Would be nice if in lieu of making dubious claims ThQ would link one every once in a while just so we know he’s not making something up e. g., STrat or popping a subjective judgement.

      • ThG

        you gave a link to

        ERROR (404)
        Page Not Found

        everyone but you saw all Theo flubs, you watch game at Tim s who has faulty transmissions?

  14. Pistol Pete

    JB I would agree I probably erred to put puck mover and defender in the one description of “superb” but I can’t accept your contention that Theo has been a soft defender over his years as a Knight. You may be right but I am not going to just go along with that because you say so not that I am any good less an armchair expert than you. As I say you could be right but I would expect McCrimmon to trade him if he feels the same. We’ll see. He’s a good value @ $5.2m. Maybe they will trade him and pick up an elite depth forward.

  15. Pistol Pete

    So JB and those what agree believe Theo has been a soft defender over the years substandard when it come to protecting the slot, the front of the net? I tend to doubt Cassidy would agree. Maybe but I remain dubious. In any case the coach and GM are far better judges of it than us.

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