1. Theodore’s Greatness
This has been a vintage year for Shea Theodore who is currently on a rapid trajectory towards becoming one of the best young two-way defensemen in the National Hockey League.
After missing some of the preseason following a scary battle with cancer in the summer, Theodore has morphed into an absolute horse on the blueline for the Vegas Golden Knights.
He has been one of the best players all year for Vegas period and, at 24-years-old, Theodore is only just scratching the surface of his potential too.
Just look at what Theodore has already achieved this year. Through 70 games, the defenseman has set new career-highs in points (45) and assists (33), while by recording his 12th goal of the year in the win over the Flames he also equalled his career-high in goals.
And, if the above wasn’t enough, Theodore has also broken the Golden Knights’ single-season franchise record for points by a defenseman, a record previously held by Nate Schmidt.
Theodore has benefited from a blossoming partnership with veteran Alec Martinez, a paring that could form the backbone of this team next year too.
Theodore’s importance to this team is reflected in his average ice time which has now risen to 22:13 per game, while he logged a monster 22:47 against the Flames.
The defenseman also ranks high in a number of offensive, defensive and possession metrics, all highlighting his absolute dominance this year.
And, as seen in Calgary on Sunday, Theodore boasts a deadly release in his arsenal, which also acts as a lethal weapon on the power play.
We will look back on this year as the coming-out party of Shea Theodore, and it is fair to assume that this is only the beginning.