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Stephenson Helps, But VGK Still Short On Depth Scoring Options

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have been fortunate thus far this season in regards to injuries. At any given time they’ve never been without more than two forwards, missing only Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin at various times.

Of course, health is important for any team, but it’s especially crucial for the Golden Knights due to their lack of depth in the minor leagues.

Thus far, just three forwards have made both NHL and AHL appearances in the Vegas system. Brandon Pirri, Valentin Zykov, and Nic Roy have only six points despite racking up 25 combined games. Between the entire trio, they’ve yet to find the back of the net in the NHL.

Meanwhile, at the AHL level, those same three forwards have tallied six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in just 22 total games. And, aside from 20-year-old Lucas Elvenes, Pirri and Zykov rank as the top scorers on the Chicago Wolves, and Roy comes in 6th. They are the best the system has, and we’ve already seen what they can (or can’t) do at the NHL level.

I raised this concern during the offseason after the Golden Knights watched four of their top-six AHL scorers leave for other teams or leagues.

Luckily, it’s yet to bite Vegas as they haven’t been forced to dip into that depth. Of course, the addition of Chandler Stephenson pushes everyone down one rung on the ladder, but it’s still a serious issue.

Brandon Pirri had a hot run with the Golden Knights last season and certainly stands as a the best fill-in option, but beyond him, there’s not much there Vegas can rely on.

Elvenes is playing in his first professional season in North America, and is thriving, but he’s likely not cut out for the NHL grind yet. Zykov is playing with Chicago now, but the chances he ever returns to Vegas remain slim after his PED suspension. Then there are Gage Quinney, Curtis McKenzie, Tye McGinn, and Nic Roy. Roy was the clear front-runner of the group, and in his seven-game stint with the Golden Knights, offense wasn’t a word that came to mind.

35% into the season, it hasn’t mattered. Hopefully, it doesn’t in the remaining 65% either.


Expecting Another Golden December




  1. I yhink your being way too critical of our guys, Roy especially. His 1 goal was really amazing, this guy has speed on speed, he’s 22, got an upside. I really like his style. Zykov, big and strong, fast. For him, it’s a matter of opportunities. I just disagree, Marchy went 8 games without a goal on our 1st line. I’m not as worried as you are. Krebs in a superstar in the making too. I like our system, our minor AHL players too. It’s just aatter of ice time, IMOP. What’s up with Eakin? Any word on him?

  2. Tim

    Last night was a very entertaining with the Islanders if we play that hard every night we’ll be in good shape. About our farm system after 3 drafts were rated the 12th best farm system counting College, Juniors, Russians, and AHL not great but not bad. We have many high end draft picks in 2020 and 2021 so our rating can only go up. I think picking up Chandler Stephenson for a 5th round in 2021 was armed robbery. The kids 25 can skate with upside getting traded to us kind of sounds like another potential Golden Misfit opportunity to shine.

    • I totally agree. Great points. Krebs is just a pure talent, hope his injury isn’t going to hamper him. Alot of these good teams have kids playing, Colorado, etc.. 20, 21 year olds. IMOP, you can’t win a Cup with kids. Stone, Marchy, Karlsson, our guys are 26 to 31 or so, like Patches. It’s a perfect combination, still young with experience. Tuch, is like 24, Carrier, 25 or so. Our young guys, Glass, Hague are mixing in well with our veterans. Krebs is going to be their in a couple of years. Tuch is a downright superstar, a 1st liner, IMOP. Subban has talent written all over him, a great option after Fluery retires. Oh yeah, Schmidt is a complete stud !! I think we can win now, we are jelling now, 5 games on the road, 4 wins, one loss in OT, 9 points !! I take that all day long !!

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