Hockey is back and we could not get that bad taste of Game 7 out of our mouth fast enough. The Vegas Golden Knights won’t have to wait long for revenge against the rival San Jose Sharks as they play a home-and-home with the team to start the season. With the end of training camp and all roster cuts made, here is a look at your 2019-20 Golden Knights!
#29 Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury will turn 35 this season, but still has plenty left in the tank. He leads the league with 28 shutouts over the last five seasons and looks to add a Vezina nomination and win, along with another Stanley Cup, to his resume.
#30 Malcolm Subban
The back-up had a rough season, but general manager Kelly McCrimmon wants Malcolm Subban as their No. 2 without a doubt. He should start more games this season as Fleury isn’t getting any younger, and especially at home where he has an incredible 14-2-1 career record with a .920 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average.
#7 Valentin Zykov
Valentin Zykov was the leading goal-scorer in the AHL two seasons ago, but could not catch a break last season as he played on three different NHL teams. With the Golden Knights in a cap crunch, they will be depending on players with cheap contracts so this is his time to shine. It also helps impress management and coaches when you go toe-to-toe with a big rival.
#9 Cody Glass
The rookie made an impact during the AHL Playoffs after his junior season came to an end. He scored seven goals and 15 points in 22 playoff games; three of those goals were in game-winning fashion. Cody Glass is ready for the pro game and the Golden Knights have the supporting cast to help him succeed as he’ll start on the second line with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone.
Instagram/Twitter: @codyglass8 (IG)
#19 Reilly Smith
With the addition of Mark Stone, Reilly Smith’s buzz as the team’s top right-wing certainly isn’t what it was. With the attention spread out now, he will produce as he did in their inaugural season and be one of the most underrated players in the league; he does it all for the Golden Knights.
#21 Cody Eakin
An injury could see him miss the start of the season, but with a new contract needed this upcoming offseason, look for Cody Eakin to have another 40-point campaign and contribute at both ends of the rink.
#26 Paul Stastny
The veteran playmaker will take rookie Glass under his wing this season to groom him for a long NHL career. Paul Stastny can play in the top-six or down the line up to provide extra depth. He’ll be a big contributor to the team’s power play and penalty kill.
#28 William Carrier
If William Carrier can stay healthy this season, he and Ryan Reaves on the fourth line will be one of the toughest lines in the entire league. The two combined for 583 hits, Reaves finishing first with 305 and Carrier with 277.
Instagram/Twitter: @williamcarrier1 (T)
#61 Mark Stone
After being acquired at the trade deadline last season, Stone signed an eight-year extension right after he landed in Vegas. He does it all for the Golden Knights; five-on-five play, penalty kill, power play. Even though he could still be considered a new guy, he has the keys to this bus.
#67 Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty looks to stay healthy and be a big piece to the Stanley Cup contenders. He doesn’t have to be “the guy” like he was with the Canadiens, and he struggled to find his new role last season. With a full season in Vegas under his belt, watch for him to regain his scoring touch.
#71 William Karlsson
Another core player who signed an eight-year extension last season, William Karlsson is another forward who could be nominated for the Selke this season. While he may not score 40 goals in a season again, he contributes in all three zones and is an impressive plus-50 over the past two campaigns.
#73 Brandon Pirri
Brandon Pirri is a pure sniper. He is a good skater and will bring an offensive threat to the bottom-six. He averaged 1.6 goals per 60 minutes last season but just needs to find more ice time.
#75 Ryan Reaves
After a big offseason battle with Evander Kane online, Reaves will continue to be one of the most feared players on the ice because of his grit and aggressiveness. With the so-called “goon” generation fading out, Reaves is truly the last of his kind when it comes to protecting his teammates.
#81 Jonathan Marchessault
Last season did not sit well with Jonathan Marchessault and he is ready to be better this season.
“I showed up in February or March, and that’s not good enough,” he said. “I was inconsistent, but I’m definitely getting ready for next year.”
He found chemistry with Stone at the end of last season and during the IIHF World Championship over the summer so look for the Quebec native to rebound after setting career highs in assists and points during the 2017-18 season.
#89 Alex Tuch
It is a tough break for the Golden Knights as this is the second straight season Alex Tuch finds himself on the injured reserve to start the year. He came back and scored 20 goals with 52 points last season, so look for the 23-year-old to build off those numbers.
#92 Tomas Nosek
The perfect compliment to Reaves and Carrier, Tomas Nosek will drive the fourth line. He can chip in 10 goals and be a pest on the ice.
#3 Brayden McNabb
The big man on defense, Brayden McNabb is a force. He hits players and blocks tons of shots while playing against the opposing team’s top players.
#4 Jimmy Schuldt
A free agent signing out of college at the end of last season, Schuldt played in one game and registered an assist. He is a puck-moving defenseman and will bring smarts and mobility to the Golden Knights backend.
#5 Deryk Engelland
The oldest player on the team re-signed over the summer and is looking to be a big contributor. He is a fierce competitor and a great leader in the locker room and in the Las Vegas community.
#15 Jon Merrill
Most likely the team’s seventh defenseman, Jon Merrill is a good depth option for the Golden Knights. He can skate and move the puck, filling in for a teammate when they need a maintenance day.
#22 Nick Holden
Nick Holden brings size and strength to the defense. He and McNabb are the team’s defensive defensemen, making life miserable for the opposing team when they are in the Golden Knights zone.
#27 Shea Theodore
It was a long summer, but Shea Theodore is ready to play. Arguably the team’s No. 1 defenseman, he zips the puck around the rink and can control the flow of the game with his skating ability. The 24-year-old will keep getting better and has already defeated the biggest opponent of all, cancer.
#88 Nate Schmidt
Nate Schmidt is the peanut butter to Theodore’s jelly. The two are a perfect one-two combo in the modern NHL. Schmidt can skate, defend, and move the puck. He missed the start of last season due to suspension and the team missed him immensely. With him being healthy and ready to go, don’t expect another slow start to the season.