A new era is underway for the Golden Knights, with former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy taking over in Vegas. Cassidy had the Bruins in contention for the Stanley Cup during his time with Boston, and this is a team that could be playing well after the end of the regular season.
Plenty of eyes will be on center Jack Eichel after the Golden Knights traded for the former second-overall pick. Eichel had 14 points and 25 points in 34 games with the Golden Knights.
The Knights will need to replace the scoring hole left by the departure of Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty was limited to 48 and 39 games over the last two seasons, so playing without the high-scoring winger is something the Golden Knights have done before.
The NHL playoff odds list the Golden Knights among the top title contenders in the Western Conference.
Vegas Golden Knights Odds
- To win Stanley Cup +2000
- To win Western Conference +700
- To win Pacific Division +375
- To make playoffs Yes -220 / No +180
Player to Watch
- Player to Watch: C Jonathan Marchessault
Many of the original members of the Golden Knights have moved on, but Marchessault remains a key piece for Vegas.
Marchessault matched his career high with 30 goals, and his 66 points were the second-highest total in his nine NHL seasons.
After being a part of playoff teams in his first four seasons with Vegas, Marchessault and the Golden Knights missed the postseason.
He is one of the team leaders and will be looking to do whatever he can to get the Golden Knights back into the postseason.
The 31-year-old Marchessault is showing no signs of slowing down, even though you will need to do some searching to find his name on the Hart Memorial Trophy and Rocket Richard Trophy lists per the NHL predictions.
- Breakout Watch: C Jack Eichel
Vegas paid a heavy price to acquire the former Buffalo Sabres star: Veteran forward Alex Tuch, promising forward Peyton Krebs, and first and second-round picks.
The Golden Knights had to wait for Eichel to get healthy. He had to shake some of the rust off, but he played in 34 games with the Golden Knights. If his numbers were projected over 82 games, Eichel would have finished with 34 goals and 61 points. More than that will be expected from him during this season.
Eichel scored more than 20 goals in each of his first five seasons. He had back-to-back seasons with 78 and 82 points. Unfortunately, his career was sidetracked by a spinal disc herniation.
With Eichel healthy, the hope is that he will approach being a point-a-game player. Eichel (+4000) is tied for 15th in the odds to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, according to the NHL betting lines.
Golden Knights Outlook
In order to get out of salary cap jail, the Golden Knights reluctantly traded away Max Pacioretty, which is a big loss to fill.
There are plenty of injury concerns heading into the season, and none more pressing than the status of goalie Robin Lehner. Laurent Brossoit and Adin Hill were brought in to help out in goal. Brossoit, young defenseman Nic Hague, and veteran defenseman Shea Weber also deal with some injury concerns.
The hope that former No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick will have a resurgence with the Golden Knights hit a roadblock as he is expected to miss all of the 2022-23 season.
Chandler Stephenson is coming off a breakout season and looks to build on that.
Phil Kessel, a 12-time 20-goal scorer, is another new addition to the Golden Knights.
There could be some time needed to adjust to Cassidy’s system, but there is plenty of talent for Vegas to return to the playoffs.