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.