When talking about the Golden Knights, there’s always a chance of the next blockbuster move being right around the corner, but for now, it appears the dust has settled on the offseason and the roster as currently constructed is the one they plan on bringing into the regular season.
The additions of Evgenii Dadonov, Nolan Patrick, and Brett Howden, along with the possibility of Peyton Krebs, Jack Dugan, and Lucas Elvenes being ready to make the NHL leap, leave the Golden Knights with plenty of options as to how to roll out their forward lines.
Alex Tuch’s injury and the departure of Ryan Reaves will force at least some shuffle to the lineup, the question is how much coach Pete DeBoer is going to go with.
The simple answer is to keep everything as close to what it was last year and allow the new and young players to battle for the final few spots on the bottom-six, but what if they get creative? Let’s run through a bunch of different potential options to show just how versatile this group has a chance to be.
This is essentially the same group the Golden Knights ran out during the postseason run. Dadonov goes in for Tuch and Howden replaces Nosek and we’re looking at a lineup we know can dominate the Pacific Division.
Karlsson As 1C
Getting Karlsson on the ice with Stone has always been somewhat intriguing. The move requires someone to fit in his spot on the Misfit Line, which is definitely easier said than done. There are two good potential options in 1st round picks from 2017 and 2019. If one can do it, the center depth will look much stronger.
Major Role For Dadonov
If the plan is to pull Karlsson away from Smith, maybe it’s best to give Marchessault a secondary scoring option on his line. That 2nd line certainly would be a bit concerning defensively, but the 3rd line should be able to take on all of the hardest matchups.
VGK tried last year with Cody Glass and it didn’t quite work, but if they can find a new option on the top line, it really opens up the options down the lineup. Look at that bottom-six, it’s glorious!
#PowerKill Stays Together
Again, for the depth to really work, a new 1C has to step forward. This lineup looks incredibly dangerous though as the Karlsson/Smith combination could take the hardest minutes and should free up the 1st and 3rd lines to dominate offensively.
Team Canada World Championship Reunion
Marchessault and Stone were dynamic on the same line with Pierre-Luc Dubois between them at the 2019 IIHF championships. Karlsson should be able to pull that out of them as well which leaves an interesting middle-six group.
Let’s Get Crazy
We’ve got a couple of wingers playing on the wrong side here, but this new-look top-six should not struggle to score. The 3rd line would probably have to morph into a high D-Zone start group, but they should be able to handle it.
Now, go back to whichever one you like the best and plug in Alex Tuch!
The options really are endless, but there’s no question the Golden Knights need to get something out of Nolan Patrick, Peyton Krebs, or Brett Howden. Otherwise, they’ll have a top-five group at wing and a bottom-five group at center.
You’ve got Patrick double shifting on the “Well Balanced Lineup”
I’m that bullish on him!
(But seriously, I fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out.)
knights fan in minny
anybody hearing rumors about the rangers zibinijad to vegas sorry about the spelling
FYI: The balance lineup has Patrick listed twice
I thought he could handle it.
(I fixed it)
I like all the lineup choices but you got one major problem and that’s Lehner at goalie.
Love the reply Hat!
Ken first you’ve got big plans for Howden and Patrick even though they’ve both been a bust. To put them ahead of Krebs tells me you have little faith in Krebs. I also thought Patrick Brown was ok not mentioned in your lineups. Whatever 4 lines we’ll roll out they’ll be ok against most teams.
It’s not as much lack of faith in Krebs as it is lack of faith in the organization’s willingness/ability to have a waiver exempt player on the roster when they are this close to the cap.
With Reaves gone who will get the enforcer role?
The same guy who had it before he got here. No one, because it’s 2021, it’s not needed anymore, and hasn’t been for almost two decades now.
As a kid, you must have got a lot of sand kicked in your face at the beach or something. *shrugs*
DOC (Go Knights Go)
Ken, that’s a ridiculous statement. Just continues to show your lack of knowledge of actual on ice play.
Hockey is not figure skating. You have NO EXPERIENCE playing hockey, so how would you know why an “enforcer” type player is not needed?
Hopefully someone steps up . as Revo WILL be missed!
So, you think that the Rangers taking Reaves was a dumb move or one to counter the likes of Tom Wilson (WSH)? If you don’t think that some teams bring in guys to punish and intimidate the skill players then you haven’t watching hockey. As I look up and down the lines I just don’t see that guy who will retaliate. There are some tough fiesty guys, don’t get me wrong. Marchy has been known to take on guys much bigger, but we don’t want our skill players doing it.
Yes I too disagree with your assessment. I do think enforcers that can’t play a real hockey role are being squeezed out of the game, but not having a guy that will play the tough role when needed is stupid. Hell even SJ brought up a tough guy last year to play against us, knowing that reaves torments them. This team is soft without a tough customer. I am ok with reaves going away, but not having a some what skilled tough guy will spell trouble for this team. MIN showed that last year against us with Reaves out. Not sure how many times Dumba glove punched a VGK guy, but it was a lot.
I do think Krebs needs to be given a legit shot! Suzuki never got one, Glass was spotty then got injured then never really earned the trust of DeBoering. I do like the potential of Krebs and Patrick.
I like the Balanced option except I think Reilly needs to stay with William. They’re so good together. If you want Krebs on L2 then move Marchie to LW3. If Krebs plays wing he’d be on the left side anyway, so unless he plays C he shouldn’t be on a line with JM.
I think we’re going to see the Nolan Patrick that everyone expected coming out of the Entry draft in 2017. If he’s at C1 all year I’d look for him to be a 55-60 pt player.
I agree with your take on Patrick. His highlight vid impressed me. Sure it was a compilation, but how he was scoring, the skating, and the craftiness he shows says the kid has a high ceiling. His talent may be more offensive, but hell we need that.
I think we’d all love to see Patrick and Howden turn there game around it would only make us a deeper and younger team.
one needs a opportunity and if Krebs doesn’t get a chance you will never know how good he really is. He has excelled at every level so far, he has a big heart with lots of talent and he can skate, he needs a Chance!!!
Suzuki got his chance almost right away. Krebs is good enough. Take the risk and bring him up!
The misfit line is an experiment that has outlived its usefulness. Last season with 58 goals between them was good but doesn’t live up to the hype.
They need to do better than 1+ goal a game. We had the #1 scoring defense in the league last season which carried our team to several wins. The mentality of if everyone contributes we will win vanished with the 17-18 squad. The Knights cannot continue contend to trade players and filling gaps from the scratch and dent pile. The lack of a goal scoring stud, and a suspect net minding duo or trio will only leave us salivating.
I would like to see Karlsson at 1C and Stephenson or Krebs/Patrick at 2C.
DeBoering needs to work on Faceoffs and Power Plays.
I don’t expect to see much of Krebs or Patrick because Vegas is the zip code where young players go only to be used as trade bait.
Only one thing of value from this article – the need for a Number 1 center. Three years and counting.
When you put it this way, VGK played last year without a decent 1C or 4C. Amazing they made the playoffs at all.