The Vegas Golden Knights have all the time been a corporation that appears to thrive within the current, discovering methods to make their staff as aggressive as attainable every season with out worrying about mortgaging their belongings. It’s a technique that the Golden Knights have prioritized since they joined the NHL in 2017, and it led them to constructing a traditionally dominant staff that took residence the Stanley Cup faster than any franchise within the post-expansion period (beginning in 1967).
Considering that they simply received, it’s troublesome to pick any quick wants that the Golden Knights have to handle heading into the 2023-24 season. However, it’s essential to concentrate on some targets from across the league that might probably make an impression on this staff in the event that they face any struggles within the common season.
Let’s check out a few of the early candidates that might assist this Golden Knights staff make one other deep playoff run.
There are some NHL gamers who’ve been capable of change the trajectory of their profession by making the most of the surroundings they play in, and Alex Barabanov is one in all them.
Barabanov was undrafted, taking part in within the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia for nearly all of his younger profession, and recorded 137 factors in 262 video games for SKA St. Petersburg. He signed a one-year cope with the Toronto Maple Leafs in April of 2020 and had a brief stint with the NHL membership earlier than being assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, the place he would play simply two video games earlier than being traded to the San Jose Sharks in April of 2021.
While Barabanov didn’t make a robust first impression on the NHL stage, being traded to the Sharks would show to be a blessing for his profession. He had a significantly better alternative to develop his offensive sport than he ever would have with the Maple Leafs. He performed on their prime ahead unit alongside Tomas Hertl and Luke Kunin, the place he had 15 objectives and completed fifth on the Sharks in factors with 47 via 68 video games final season.
Latest News & Highlights
While he most likely wouldn’t be a top-six ahead on most NHL groups, particularly on the Golden Knights, his $2.5 million contract that expires subsequent summer time makes him a reasonably engaging commerce goal for groups trying for an offensive spark on their third or fourth line. The Golden Knights’ lineup is deep, however there isn’t a assure that they’ll have the ability to replicate the scoring that that they had within the playoffs, and Barabanov may add an additional offensive layer to their lineup.
The expectations for the Ottawa Senators have gotten repeatedly larger with every season, however the competitors throughout the Atlantic division has all the time been a significant factor of their lack of regular-season success. With the very best years of the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning seemingly being behind them, can this younger Senators core take the subsequent step to compete for a playoff spot? That stays to be seen, however it should doubtless resolve what the long run holds for Vladimir Tarasenko.
After the New York Rangers acquired Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues in February in hopes of a deep playoff run, they had been knocked out within the first spherical by the New Jersey Devils in seven video games. With no extension signed with the Rangers, Tarasenko grew to become an unrestricted free agent for the primary time since 2016. He then signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Senators, in hopes of changing Alex DeBrincat’s position within the prime six following his commerce to the Detroit Red Wings.
Injuries apart, the 31-year-old winger has been a 30-goal scorer for practically a decade, whereas additionally being a constant offensive producer within the playoffs. It’s no secret that the Golden Knights have struggled to attain on the facility play over the previous few seasons, and including a scoring menace like Tarasenko to their lineup could possibly be the distinction they should elevate their offensive sport.
Related: Golden Knights’ Early 2024 Free Agency Preview
Based on the one-year signing, the Senators wouldn’t have a difficulty retaining his wage in a commerce in the event that they had been provided some further compensation, which is probably going what would want to occur if the Golden Knights had been to pursue him. While a Tarasenko commerce is totally depending on how the Senators carry out, don’t depend the Golden Knights out if commerce rumors start to swirl within the new yr.
Jason Zucker’s time with the Pittsburgh Penguins over the previous 4 seasons was crammed with accidents and uncharacteristically low offensive manufacturing. From 2016 to 2020, Zucker had 182 factors via 287 video games performed with the Minnesota Wild. He then put up simply 47 factors via 94 whole video games between 2020 to 2022. Fortunately, he bought his sport again on observe within the 2022-23 season, scoring 27 objectives and recording 48 factors whereas managing to play 78 video games.
His return to kind earned him a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Arizona Coyotes for the upcoming season, which can give him the chance to play top-six minutes alongside a few of the Coyotes’ finest younger expertise. There’s a robust likelihood the Coyotes do something they’ll so as to maximize Zucker’s worth for a commerce later within the season, the place he could possibly be moved to a contender just like the Golden Knights.
Zucker has confirmed he is usually a complimentary participant to a few of the NHL’s finest expertise together with his expertise taking part in with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. This additionally may make him an excellent candidate to be acquired by the Golden Knights at the trade deadline. If he can keep wholesome, he’d present quite a lot of stability to this lineup and will simply discover success on any line that he’d play on.
Similarly to Tarasenko, the Coyotes are nearly assured to retain wage in the event that they do make a commerce for Zucker on the deadline. There’s nonetheless an opportunity that the Coyotes attempt to lengthen Zucker in the event that they’re trying for a veteran presence to assist the event of their youthful gamers, however that call will in the end be made because the season progresses.
The Golden Knights’ defensive core is arguably their finest asset, which is why all of those recommended targets are on the offensive aspect of issues. While they’re ageing, their pure expertise mixed with the structured defensive system they play in below Bruce Cassidy has proved to be a mixture that doesn’t warrant any quick modifications.
While all of those gamers are on expiring offers, it wouldn’t be stunning to see the Golden Knights goal gamers with some time period left on their contracts as nicely. With Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson each being within the final yr of their offers, buying gamers who’re locked down for a number of seasons may find yourself being the very best choice to maintain this aggressive window open.