Fantasy Hockey

Golden Knights season preview: Lehner appears to be standing out as No.1 goalie


The 2021-22 NHL season begins October 12. With the opening of training camps, takes a look at the Three Keys, the scoop on roster issues and the planned lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Coach: Peter DeBoer (third season)

Last season: 40-14-2; second in the Honda West Division, lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup semifinals


1. Lehner replaces Fleury

Robin lehner must reward the Faith of the Golden Knights after trading Marc-André Fleury at the Chicago Blackhawks on July 27. Fleury has been the face of the franchise since the expansion NHL Draft in 2017 and is the reigning winner of the Vézina Trophy, which goes to the league’s top goaltender as voted by NHL general managers. But Lehner is younger (30 instead of 36), cheaper (average annual value of $ 5 million instead of $ 7 million), locked up longer (until 2024-25 instead of 2021-22) and elite in its own right (a Vezina finalist with the New York Islanders in 2018-19).

2. Improve the power play

Vegas scored 17.8% of its powerplay in the regular season and 9.3% in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2020-21, and was 0 for 15 on the power play in six games against the Canadiens in the half. final, a big reason. the Golden Knights have been eliminated. Adding cross references Evgenii Dadonov and Patrick nolan should help; Dadonov, who scored 25 power play goals for the Florida Panthers in 2017-20, finds weak spots and deflects the pucks into the slot. Patrick can play in net, knocking forward Brand Pierre to the half-wall, where he can play more games.

3. Handling pressure

The Golden Knights tied the Colorado Avalanche for most points in the NHL last season, losing the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best record in a tie-breaker, and reached the last four of the playoffs for the third time in their four seasons in the NHL. It’s incredible. Still, it wasn’t good enough in Vegas, where it’s the Stanley Cup or a failure. In an interview in September, Stone, the captain, said he doesn’t handle the pressure well and his game has changed because of it. He said a lot of his teammates felt the same kind of pressure and the Golden Knights didn’t fight through adversity as well as they would have liked. The next big test won’t be until the playoffs.

Video: 2021-22 Vegas Golden Knights Season Preview


Position battles

Defender Dylan coghlan tries to be in the top six. The 23-year-old scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 29 games for Vegas last season after two seasons with Chicago in the American Hockey League. Center Peyton krebs, the 17th pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, is trying to carve out a spot among a deep group of forwards. The 20-year-old has 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 24 games for Winnipeg in the Western Hockey League, five points (one goal, four assists) in five games for AHL Henderson and one assists in four games. for the Golden Knights last season.

Most intriguing addition

Vegas doesn’t have a true No.1 cross, and he traded a cross Cody Glass, the No.6 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, to the Nashville Predators in a three-team trade that brought Patrick from the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick was the second pick in the 2017 draft. General manager Kelly McCrimmon coached Patrick with Brandon of the WHL from 2014 to 2016, when Patrick scored 158 points (71 goals, 87 assists) in 127 games.

The biggest potential surprise

Lehner is expected to carry the load, but as the Golden Knights have shown over the past two seasons, having two reliable goalies helps. Few talk about it Laurent Brossoit, the save they signed as an unrestricted free agent on July 28, and he’s able to surprise. He was 13-6-2 with a 2.52 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and shutout for the Winnipeg Jets in 2018-19, tied for sixth in the NHL as a percentage of saves with Andrei Vasilevskiy the Tampa Bay Lightning and Darcy kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes among goaltenders with at least 20 games played.

Ready to drill

Patrick scored 70 points (30 goals, 40 assists) in 197 games in three seasons with the Flyers, a disappointment given the high expectations, but he struggled with injuries and played low in the roster. He’s still young at 23 and has the talent that made him such a good choice. Maybe a change of scenery and a new role will help him realize his potential, and even if he will start on the third row, he might end up having a chance on the first.

Fancy sleeper

Dadonov (fantastic draft average position: 173.8) struggled mostly in a supporting role with the Ottawa Senators last season (20 points in 55 games), but renewed his fantastic appeal after being acquired by the Golden Knights. Dadonov, who has scored at least 25 goals in each of his three previous seasons with the Panthers and has had consecutive seasons of at least 65 points (2017-18, 2018-19), could give Vegas a new wrinkle on one of his first two trios. and quickly return to the relevance of fantasy. – Pete Jensen

Projected composition

Max PaciorettyChandler Stephenson –Marc Pierre

Jonathan marchessaultGuillaume KarlssonReilly smith

Mattias Janmark – Nolan Patrick – Evgenii Dadonov

Guillaume CarrierBrett howdenNicolas roy

Alec martinezAlex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabbShea Theodore

Nicolas The HagueZach White Cloud

Robin lehner

Laurent Brossoit