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Tag: Brett Howden

Playing Around With Lineup Combinations

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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.

Continuity

Pacioretty-Stephenson-Stone
Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Janmark-Roy-Dadonov
Carrier-Howden-Kolesar

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

Pacioretty-Karlsson-Stone
Marchessault-Patrick/Krebs-Smith
Janmark-Stephenson-Dadonov
Carrier-Roy-Howden

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.

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Reasons For Brett Howden Optimism

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights acquisition of Brett Howden from the New York Rangers has not been met with much hoopla. Judging from the comments of Ranger fans on social media, you’d think Vegas was doing New York a favor by taking Howden off their hands.

Diving into his history, and specifically the underlying stats that led to a subpar 2020-21 season, there is definitely some reason for optimism for Howden in Las Vegas.

Howden finished last season with just one goal and six assists in 42 games. He posted a -2 rating while playing 12:34 per night, the lowest of his young career. His one goal came shorthanded and he attempted a measly 33 shots or about three every four games.

One of the main points of confidence in why Howden can turn it around was his usage in New York. Howden was primarily relied upon as a penalty killer playing in a bottom-six role alongside the likes of Colin Blackwell, Brendan Lemieux, Phillip Di Giuseppe, and Julien Gauthier. He was constantly asked to punch one or two lines above his weight, usually playing in a fourth-line role taking on second and third line opposition. His overall offensive zone start percentage was under 50% and came in well short of the team average.

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GOLDEN KNIGHTS ACQUIRE BRETT HOWDEN FOR 4TH ROUND PICK

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In the second deal right before the Expansion Draft roster freeze the Golden Knights have acquired 23-year-old center, Brett Howden, from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 4th round pick in 2022 and Nick DeSimone.

Howden is a former 1st round pick (2016, #27 overall) who is 6’3″ and 200 pounds. He’s a center that has shown limited scoring prowess in his 178 career NHL games. Last season he scored just one goal in 42 games but was able to score nine in 70 and six in 66 the previous two seasons.

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