In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, head coach Peter DeBoer explained how and why the team needs to start to draw more penalties. Meanwhile, one of his top forwards in William Karlsson, who is currently sidelined with a broken foot, has been added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. In other news, management was able to sign Zach Dean, who they chose in the first-round of the 2021 draft, to an entry-level contract.
Golden Knights Struggling to Draw Penalties
Much has been made about the success, or lack thereof, of the Golden Knights’ power play this season. Through 22 games, they have scored on just 13.7 percent of their opportunities, a number which ranks them 26th across the entire league. That is extremely concerning, however according to Deboer, there is an even bigger concern; the team’s inability to draw penalties.
As of Tuesday, the Golden Knights had drawn just 60 penalties on the season, which is the lowest total in the NHL. This isn’t a good stat to have for a team that is expected to be Stanley Cup contenders, and DeBoer spoke about the issue earlier this week.
“We’ve got to draw some more penalties, that’s been an issue here for a long time,” DeBoer said. “For the amount of time we have the puck when we are playing well we should draw more and that’s on us to attack those holes a little harder.”
While it is still very early, it appears these comments from DeBoer may have paid off, as the Golden Knights were able to draw four penalties against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. If that trend continues, they should be a more successful team moving forward.
Karlsson Placed on COVID Protocol List
There have been several Golden Knights players who have had bouts with COVID-19 this season, with the most recent being Karlsson. The 28-year-old was added to the league’s COVID protocol list on Monday. The good news is that he was already out of the lineup with a broken foot, and reportedly still has a walking boot on which means he isn’t all that close to returning.
At the time of his injury on Oct. 29, he was given a timeline of four-to-six weeks. While he had gotten off to a slow start prior to his injury with a goal and three points in eight games, he remains one of the better point producers on this roster. Whenever he is able to return, it will be a big boost for the Golden Knights lineup.
Dean Signs Entry-Level Deal
On late Thursday afternoon, the Golden Knights announced that they signed Dean to a three-year entry-level contract. The 18-year-old was taken with the 31st overall pick in the 2021 draft after scoring 10 goals and 20 points in 23 games with the Gatineau Olympiques in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.
The young forward has gotten off to a solid start with the Olympiques in 2021-22 with four goals and nine points in just seven contests. Those numbers were enough to earn him an invite to Team Canada’s training camp for the upcoming World Junior Championships. Though he is a long shot to make the team, the fact he received this invite at just 18 years of age is quite impressive in its own right.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
As mentioned earlier, the Golden Knights have already played a game this week, one in which they lost 6-5 to the Ducks. They have a chance to bounce back on Friday night when they will take on the struggling Arizona Coyotes in what should result in two points. They then take on a much more difficult opponent in the Calgary Flames on Sunday in what promises to be a fun divisional matchup.
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Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.