The Golden Knights NHL roster is very good. With a top-six that can compete with anyone, as a complete forward corps as there is, and a defensive group that may not be filled with huge names but has always gotten the job done, there’s not much space for additions in the offseason.
However, the depth of the organization disappears the moment you look outside of the NHL. After a trip to the Calder Cup Final a year ago, the Wolves watched their three leading scorers walk out the door in July 2019. That left a bit of a void in the AHL scoring department which led to 21-year-old AHL rookie Lucas Elvenes to lead the team in scoring.
The Wolves had just one player, Brandon Pirri, who averaged more than 0.85 points per game. Compare that to both 2017-18 and 2018-19 when they had five in each season.
The Golden Knights didn’t receive a ton of production out of those players at the NHL level, but the luxury of having multiple scoring options in the AHL is certainly something they should always be striving for. A few weeks ago we projected the 2020-21 Henderson Blank Blank roster and came to the conclusion that there will need to be at least two new forwards on the roster. George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon should be looking for guys who have proven they can score at the AHL level and have the potential upside to slide into the Golden Knights roster and have an impact. Here are a few potential candidates to fill those holes.
Previous Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
For the life of me, I can’t figure out how this guy hasn’t gotten more of a shot at the NHL level. In his first season in the NHL, he played just 15 regular season games with the Predators, but when the playoffs rolled around, he became a permanent member of their run to the Stanley Cup Final. He played 16 playoff games, scored two goals, including one in the Final, and registered three assists while averaging just 12 minutes per game.
Since, he’s bounced around quite a bit spending time with Anaheim, Edmonton, Minnesota, and Toronto. In his stops with the Ducks and Oilers, he put up 27 points in 53 games in the NHL. However, he just hasn’t ever seemed to stick. He registered 44 points (20g, 24a) in 55 games with the Toronto Marlies good for second on the team in both goals and points this season.
He’s a great skater with excellent speed, is a strong forechecker, and has shown the ability to score on the biggest stage.
Silver Knights Blank Blanks have a hole in the top-six in the AHL, and Aberg is the perfect fit to fill it. Plus, the potential upside he can bring to the NHL roster makes him a player the Golden Knights absolutely need to look into when he hits free agency this summer.