The trade deadline has officially passed us, and wow, was it a doozy. We saw head-scratching trades, trades we saw coming and even trades we didn’t really care about. There was one trade I did really care about though, and that would have to be the Vegas Golden Knights trading for Swedish center Mattias Janmark.
Janmark is 28 years old and has played six seasons in the NHL. Over the course of his career, he has built a reputation based on him being a marquee role player on the bottom lines of an NHL squad. He sure does bring a lot of value to the Golden Knights, so without further a due, let’s dissect and analyze exactly what the Golden Knights are receiving in Janmark.
Go-To 3rd Line Center
Once I saw the notification on my phone come through telling me about this trade my mind immediately went to the thought of how great this is going to be for the third line heading into the playoffs. So far, throughout the season, the third line has been manned by Cody Glass, who, despite his best efforts, has been underwhelming, to say the least. In Janmark, the Golden Knights receive that third-line center they can ultimately depend on to “steer” the third line in the right direction.
The Golden Knights now don’t have to worry about their bottom lines lacking any depth, seeing as Janmark has thrived throughout his career playing with a multitude of bottom-line players. His 19 points in 41 games so far this season for the Blackhawks is impressive, considering his previous career-high in points was 34 in 81 games back in 2017-18. The key to success with the Blackhawks was that he had a bigger role and was seeing more ice-time with them compared to his time with the Dallas Stars.
If the Golden Knights want to get the most out of Janmark, they have to play him more often than not. He is at his best when he is playing regular minutes, so it’d be worth their best interest to give him the opportunity to thrive and contribute, especially with the Golden Knights slated for a deep playoff run.
Right Place at the Right Time
Upon watching highlight clips of the goals he’s scored in his career and watching him play in last season’s Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Stars, one thing I really admired about his game was his net-front presence and his offensive zone positioning.
The majority of Janmark’s goals are due to him being at the right place at the right time, whether that be at the side of the net to pot home a rebound or while screening the goalie and getting a deflection to go by the opposing goalie. His biggest strength is his ability to position himself in a manner that guarantees a high-quality scoring chance, even if the play doesn’t have the makings of one.
The Golden Knights have a plethora of scoring power throughout their lineup, but Janmark definitely brings a mobile, net-front presence that will only help the offense in the long run. His perfect offensive positioning will be greatly appreciated by his teammates, who will look to feed him as often as possible. Due to Vegas’ ability to flow the puck in the opposing zone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Janmark pots home another five or seven goals before the season’s end.
Overall Skilled Bottom-6
Janmark’s skill set is very much sought after by teams all around the NHL, and that’s what makes his addition to the Golden Knights that much better. He is a shifty forward with great skating speed and one who can find open seams in the defence almost effortlessly. As I said earlier, his ability to position himself in the best areas to score is his strongest asset, as well as his vision.
His speed will be the biggest factor leading to his success within this Golden Knights’ offensive lineup, as they are already one of, if not the, fastest team on the offensive. With Janmark, the Golden Knights are receiving a Swiss-Army Knife of a forward, one who can play anywhere, in any situation and thrive. Out of all their recent pickups, this one looks like it will be one of the best.
In the Lineup
The Golden Knights are back in action on Wednesday against the L.A. Kings, so hopefully, we get to see Janmark make his debut in Gold and Silver. If not for Wednesday, he could make his debut on Friday against the Anaheim Ducks. No matter which game it is, we are looking forward to seeing how the Swede fits into the lineup.
How do you think Janmark will fare in Sin City? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael Vidakis is a Montreal native who writes for the Vegas Golden Knights team here at The Hockey Writers. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer things in life such as Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, staring aimlessly outside windows and tangerines.