The Vegas Golden Knights have had a great deal of success in their short history in the NHL. Part of the reason for this success has been the front office’s ability to acquire and sign top tier younger players. These players were given the opportunity to develop, and signed contracts that will ultimately be beneficial to the Golden Knights for years to come. The Vegas front office should be applauded for these three contracts they currently have:
Shea Theodore might have arguably one of the most team-friendly contracts in the NHL for defensemen. During the 2019-20 season, he became a star on the Vegas blueline. Theodore was also considered a Conn Smythe favorite before the Golden Knights were eliminated from the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. During the 2019-20 regular season, he was tied for fifth in points on the Golden Knights and ultimately led Vegas in scoring during the playoffs.
Theodore currently has a five-year contract with an average annual value of $5.2 million. This is a bargain as he could potentially win the Norris Trophy during this contract. He is also 25 years old and if he continues to develop at his current rate, this contract could look like highway robbery in a few years.
Although he might not be paired on the top defensive unit with the addition of Alex Pietrangelo, Theodore will still be one of the main options on the power play. His offensive production should only increase in the coming years and the Golden Knights front office should be praised for this signing.
Although Alex Tuch has had some injury problems during his time with the Golden Knights, he has proven himself to be an elite level player when he is on the ice. During the 2020 playoffs, Tuch led the Golden Knights in goals and seemed to be a menace on the forecheck. Although he was playing on the third line, Tuch was given multiple opportunities in the top six and produced. He is also an integral part of the Vegas power play.
Tuch currently has six years left on his contract and will have an AAV of $4.75 million. This will keep the 24-year-old forward in Sin City throughout his prime. Despite the possibility of injuries, Tuch has consistently produced in both the regular season and playoffs. His size and speed make him a unique player. As a power forward, Tuch is able to win battles in the corners and in front of the net, but his skill with the puck puts him in the position to be an elite player in the NHL.
This one may be a bit of a surprise, but Chandler Stephenson has proven himself to be a vital part of the Vegas lineup. His ability to play both wing and center has allowed him to be used in any situation on the ice. This was evident during the 2020 playoffs as Stephenson would fill in for Max Pacioretty on the top line and then center the third line once Pacioretty was fit to play.
Stephenson just signed a new four-year extension with a $2.75 million AAV during the off-season and was considered to be an important signing for the Golden Knights. After being acquired by the team via trade with the Washington Capitals, Stephenson immediately produced on all sides of the puck. He not only increased his scoring output but also was a key part of the Vegas penalty kill. Stephenson is currently 26 years old and his contract is ideal for a top-six forward.
The Golden Knights are a skilled team in all areas of the ice. They have quality players on offense, defense and between the pipes. Their front office has had the hard task of managing the salary cap while keeping the core together. Luckily for the team, Theodore, Tuch and Stephenson happened to be the right price to help the team succeed for years to come.