Vegas Golden Knights Most Underrated Forward: Brendan Leipsic

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 10: Brendan Leipsic #13 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates against the Arizna Coyotes during the Golden Knights' inaugural regular-season home opener at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 10: Brendan Leipsic #13 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates against the Arizna Coyotes during the Golden Knights' inaugural regular-season home opener at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Surprisingly, Brendan Leipsic has been a pretty solid piece of this Vegas Golden Knights team.

The NHL’s newest franchise got off to a hot start in the early going. The Vegas Golden Knights three straight wins all came in dramatic fashion. Two come from behind wins on the road, and of course, the emotional home opener that propelled the team to a 3-0 start.

There have been players who have shined more than others. One of those players being James Neal. Neal has five goals on the season, and he’s obviously the Golden Knight number one offensive weapon. He’s well on his way to his 11th consecutive 20 goal season.

Another important piece to the Golden Knights big success is Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury started all three games and earned three wins to go along with a 1.32 GAA and a save percentage of .963. There’s no doubt that Fleury has been one of if not the best goaltender in the first week and a half of the season.

Other pieces have contributed in a big way such as Deryk Engelland and Nate Schmidt on defense. David Perron has also made a key contributions upfront. But there’s a forward that puts in the hard work that’s easy to forget about on this roster and that mans name is Brendan Leipsic.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 10: Brendan Leipsic #13 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates against the Arizona Coyotes during the Golden Knights’ inaugural regular-season home opener at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 10: Brendan Leipsic #13 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates against the Arizona Coyotes during the Golden Knights’ inaugural regular-season home opener at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The 23-year-old was acquired via the expansion draft from the Toronto Maple Leafs in June. Leipsic was a big goal scorer back in the Western Hockey League with the Portland Winterhawks. In 2012-13, Leipsic scored 49 goals, 71 assists, and 120 points. He also made his trip to the sin bin a ton that campaign with 103 PIM.

Leipsic hasn’t really gotten his chance at the NHL level thus far. The Winnipeg Manitoba native only played six total games at the NHL level. All six games came in 2015-16 with the Leafs where he scored one goal and two assists. Due to the insane amount of young talent on the Leafs roster in 2016-17, he spent the entire year with the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies.

Related Story: Can James Neal score 30 Goals in the 2017-18 campaign?

Leipsic did a terrific job last year with the Marlies recording 18 goals, 33 assists, and 51 points. He also put up four goals and added a helper in 11 playoff games.  But what makes Leipsic so unique?

Leipsic displays a two-way style and adds a ton of energy. He’s a hard worker that loves to battle for the puck, and he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty. Leipsic is only 5’10 and weighs 180 lbs, but he likes to agitate and frustrate the opponent in any way he can, whether it’s physically or mentally.

The young Left Wing brings a ton of energy to the Golden Knights, and he’s making the most of his NHL opportunity. Leipsic is doing very well in his bottom six role, and he could eventually work his way up to a top-six role if he keeps improving. Check out his insane pass to Oscar Lindberg:

Leipsic mostly suits himself the “role player” and probably won’t be a top flight goal scoring option at the NHL level. He also needs to ride the fine line of agitating and limiting penalties.

Next: Emotional Home Opener for the Vegas Golden Knights.

All in all, Leipsic is a fine piece on this roster. He definitely fits the Vegas Golden Knights work ethic, and that’s what Head Coach Gerard Gallant wants to see. Golden Knights fans should be excited to see how this kid develops with more ice time.