Vegas Golden Knights Team Report
By Neil Becker
The Vegas Golden Knights grabbed off-season headlines when they traded two fan favorites in future hall of famer goalie Marc Andre-Fleury and veteran enforcer Ryan Reeves.
Fleury, who this past year posted an impressive 26-10 record with a .989 GAA, was in late July un-expectantly traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. This veteran goalie, who was originally taken by Vegas in the June 2 017 expansion draft, was dealt for 23- year-old prospect Mikael Hakkarainen. Fleury, who was drafted first overall in 2003 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, would go on to play 13 years in Pittsburgh followed by four with the Vegas Golden Knights. Playing with Vegas, Fleury ended up with 117 regular-season wins. Heading into next year Fleury, who is otherwise known as ‘Flower’ sits third all-time with 492 career wins.
Also in July, Vegas Golden Knights pulled the trigger on a deal that sent rugged forward Ryan Reeves to the New York Rangers in exchange for a third-round pick in next summer’s NHL entry draft. Reeves, in what was also his fourth season with the Knights scored this past season one goal and five points in 37 games.
Another versatile forward leaving Vegas is Unrestricted Free Agent center Tomas Nosek who signed a two-year contract valued at $3.5 million dollars with the Boston Bruins. Last year, in what was his fourth year with Vegas, Nosek, who is 29 years old, scored 8 goals and 18 points in 38 games played.
Meanwhile 27 year old Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk, who competed in only one game with Vegas Golden Knights last year, and has been in the organization for four years signed a two-year contract with HC Spartak Moscow in the KHL.
In taking a bold gamble, the Golden Knights acquired former 2017 second overall pick, Nolan Patrick from the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Cody Glass.
Patrick, who plays center, was originally drafted second by the Philadelphia Flyers. Following three seasons in Philly, he was involved this past July in a blockbuster trade which sent him to the Nashville Predators. Shortly afterward, he was traded to Vegas for Glass who was taken sixth in the same draft as Patrick. Patrick, who missed the 2019-20 season, came back last year with the Flyers to score 4 goals and 9 points in 52 games.
Shortly after trading Fleury, the Golden Knights pulled off another big move as they sent defenceman Nick Holden and a 2022 third-round pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for scoring winger Evgenii Dadonov. In his one and only season with Ottawa, Dadonov scored 13 goals along with 20 points in 55 games played.
This off-season Vegas also pulled the trigger on a one-year $750K deal on 28 year old forward Sven Baertschi who last season scored 5 goals and 14 points in 24 games with the AHL’s Utica Comets. Baertschi, who was originally selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft by the Calgary Flames, last played NHL hockey back in 2019-20 when he registered two assists in six games.
Meanwhile, centerman Patrick Brown, who stands at 6’1” and 210 pounds, re-signed for two years with Vegas. Last season he played 9 games for the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights where he scored 3 goals and 8 points. He also played four games for the Golden Knights.
In mid-July, the Golden Knights traded their 2022 fourth-round draft pick along with Nick DeSimone to the Rangers in exchange for centreman Brett Howden. Last year, which was Howden’s third with the Rangers, he scored a goal and seven points in 42 games played.
Another off-season move included not signing unrestricted free agent centerman Danny O’Regan who agreed on July 29, 2021, to a two-year, two-way contract with the Anaheim Ducks. O’Regan is coming off a season with the Golden Knights AHL affiliate Henderson Silver Knights, which saw him score 16 goals and 37 points in 37 games played.
Leaving the Vegas Golden Knights organization is 27- year-old left winger Tyrell Goulbourne who on August 10, 2021, signed a one-year contract with the Belleville Senators, who are affiliated with the Ottawa Senators. Last year, Goulbourne scored a goal and two points in 16 games with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights
Strengthening their goaltending Vegas signed free agent Laurent Brossoit to a two-year contract worth $4.65 million dollars. Last season, Brossoit who played for the Winnipeg Jets posted a 6-6 record in 14 games with a 2.42 GAA.
A big move came on the blueline when in July the Vegas Golden Knights re-signed 33- year-old Alec Martinez to a three-year deal worth $15 million dollars. Martinez is coming off a season that saw him play 53 games where he scored 9 goals along with 32 points and a +26 rating.
Meanwhile, free-agent defenceman Carl Dahlstrom, who played 17 games last year with the AHL’s Silver Knights signed in late July a one-year, two-way contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Another free-agent defenceman to leave the Golden Knights organization is Jimmy Schuldt to a one-year two-way contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
Once again it should be an exciting upcoming season for the Golden Knights who once again are one of a handful of teams with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
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