The Golden Knights unveiled their roster of 18 forwards, 12 defensemen, and three goalies Saturday night.
Here’s the full roster.
Forwards: Patrick Brown, William Carrier, Nick Cousins, Reid Duke, William Karlsson, Keegan Kolesar, Peyton Krebs, Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Nosek, Gage Quinney, Max Pacioretty, Ryan Reaves, Nicolas Roy, Reilly Smith, Paul Stastny, Chandler Stephenson, Mark Stone, and Alex Tuch
Defensemen: Jake Bischoff, Dylan Coghlan, Deryk Engelland, Nicolas Hague, Nick Holden, Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill, Nate Schmidt, Jimmy Schuldt, Shea Theodore, and Zach Whitecloud
Goaltenders: Oscar Dansk, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Robin Lehner
Vegas’ Phase 3 Training Camp roster didn’t come without a few surprises.
- Krebs makes the initial cut
We explained a few weeks ago why we thought Peyton Krebs deserved a spot not only on the Phase 3 roster but also on the Phase 4 roster when the Golden Knights head into the bubble. Golden Knights management obviously agreed as he’s one of the 18 forwards set to take part in Training Camp this week at City National Arena.
He was around the organization for an extended period of time in the fall as he rehabbed his injury and we were all very impressed by his professionalism. He’s an elite young player that at worst is going to get great experience. It’s a chance for Peter DeBoer to see Peyton Krebs, which he hasn’t had that opportunity. To get through the playoffs there are going to be situations where you are going to rely on your depth and we wanted to see Peyton in this setting to evaluate him further. -Kelly McCrimmon
Krebs missed Development Camp, Rookie Camp, Training Camp, and exhibition games so it would make sense to give him a chance at recovering some lost time, but according to McCrimmon the decision was made because they believe he can help this team win playoff games now. That’s definitely an exciting statement for the 17th overall pick in the 2019 Draft.
Which brings us to our next topic…
- Reshuffling of the AHL forward hierarchy
The bottom line with the decisions that we’ve made with respect to camp are who can help us win the Stanley Cup. This isn’t about player development or public relations or ‘it’s is a nice story.’ -McCrimmon
Yet the Golden Knights released a roster without Brandon Pirri and Valentin Zykov who have been their go-to AHL players this season, and included Krebs, Reid Duke, Keegan Kolesar, and Gage Quinney who played a combined four games in the NHL this year.
It may be attributed a bit to DeBoer. It may have to do with the potential futures of Pirri and Zykov with the Golden Knights. Or it may even have to do with how these four can “help” in practice more than the other two could. But no matter how you slice it, it absolutely says something about the places of Pirri and Zykov, and it’s not something good.
- Just three goalies
So far, 22 of the 24 teams participating in the NHL’s Return to Play have released their Phase 3 rosters. Only the Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets have fewer than four goalies set to participate in camp.
Obviously Marc-Andre (Fleury) and Robin (Lehner) are our two NHL goalies. Oscar (Dansk), to me he has established himself as the next goalie in our organization. We felt that three was all we needed. Oscar spent the entire Pause in Las Vegas so he’s been able to be on the ice right from the beginning of Phase 2, as have Marc-Andre and Robin with Mike Rosati our goaltender coach. That’s what went into our decision and we are comfortable with that. -McCrimmon
Despite being an outlier, it makes sense to only bring three to the bubble. Yes, the Golden Knights had a month where they lost three goalies back in 2017, but that’s incredibly rare and even if it happens, there has to be a replacement plan available to the teams (they aren’t going to make them stick Marchessault in there for a playoff game, are they?)
Nonetheless, if a team were to lose three in the playoffs, their chances of winning the Cup are basically gone anyway. So, with roster limits in place for total number of players, it seems logical to carry just three as opposed to four or five, which many teams are. The surprising part shouldn’t be that Vegas only has three, it should be that only one other team followed suit.
- Dylan Coghlan
For now, Coghlan will get a chance to impress DeBoer, something that clearly never quite happened enough while Gallant was behind the bench. During his stellar AHL season, it seemed inevitable that he’d get a chance to make his NHL debut at some point, but it never came. Now, he’s a part of a group of 12 defensemen to be in training camp, but that number is likely to shrink to 11 when the Golden Knights depart to Edmonton. Coghlan has done nothing but impress, but he’s going to have to do it again, and it’ll be a statement one way or the other when the final roster is announced in a little over a week.