It’s finally here… tomorrow.
The preseason is over and the Golden Knights are ready to embark on their fifth NHL season. Expectations are understandably very high both from a team perspective and for a multitude of individuals.
Here are 10 predictions for the upcoming season. We’ll start with the milder five.
The Golden Knights will be the only Pacific Division team to reach 100 points
There are a few other teams in the division who I expect to be a little bit better, but the full 82-game schedule will really show the weakness of the Pacific. The division will struggle mightily against the Eastern Conference and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see both Western Conference wild cards come from the Central.
Max Pacioretty will lead the team in goals for a third straight year
While I expect a number of Golden Knights to take a step forward in some of their goal-scoring numbers, the 35-40 you can basically slot Pacioretty in for is just too many to expect any other Golden Knight to reach. Maybe Jonathan Marchessault or Evgenii Dadonov can hit 30, or maybe this is an up year for pending UFA Reilly Smith, or maybe even we see the return of William Karlsson’s goal-scoring prowess. But, no matter which one happens, I still can’t see them getting past Pacioretty.
Three Golden Knights will represent Vegas as the city hosts the All Star Game
It’s tough to get three All Stars on the same team, because it basically means only one other team in the division can have multiple players from the same roster. But, the host city has had at least three players each of the last five seasons, and the Golden Knights have enough star power to keep that streak alive.