Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.
After their miraculous inaugural season, is it possible to imagine that the Golden Knights could get any better heading into their second season? That is a far more difficult question to answer than ask. How many predicted Vegas to even make the playoffs last season, let alone storm their way to the Stanley Cup Final? On paper, they looked like a mediocre team at best, but by April nearly every player had finished a career best season that extended well into the playoffs. Even if we could say the team is better on paper heading into October, it’s hard to imagine they can repeat last year’s success.
The biggest losses for the Golden Knights came with veteran leadership and significant point production moving on in the free agent market as James Neal signed with the Calgary Flames and David Perron made his way back to the St. Louis Blues after a career season posting 66 points in only 70 games played.
Vegas is hoping to capitalize on some minor free agency acquisitions and rely on the rest of the roster to take another step forward in order to fill the gap that Neal and Perron have created. They added a quality pivot in Paul Stastny and defensive depth in Nick Holden, along with some depth options in Daniel Carr and Brandon Pirri. It was a relatively quiet off-season, and the rest of the noise that was made was with the re-signing of a slew of their own restricted and unrestricted free agents: William Karlsson (one year), Marc-Andre Fleury (three years), Colin