Vegas Golden Knights: Projecting William Carrier’s role in 2020-21

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William Carrier #28 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on October 21, 2019. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

William Carrier proved his worth for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019-20 and he also showed that he’s ready for a bigger role going forward.

Although hockey may well return this year, it was still an impressive season from Carrier who continues to improve his stock as a vital role player for the Vegas Golden Knights.

So good was the bottom-line grinder in-fact that he was rewarded with a four-year, $5,600,000 contract with an average annual value of $1,400,000.

That deal is incredibly team-friendly given how important Carrier is to this team, and the potential is there to suggest that the forward could be seriously underpaid by the conclusion of his new contract.

While entrenched as a fourth-line battering ram for most of the year, Carrier did get an opportunity to showcase a side to his game that we very rarely see.

And, when he did, he didn’t disappoint.

Meshing together brute force, silky hands, elite vision and high-end playmaking skills, Carrier flashed a tantalizing glimpse of the potential he does have under his belt.

While he is only just scratching the surface in that respect, there is enough evidence to suggest that the human wrecking ball could take on an even bigger role for the Golden Knights in the coming years.

But more on that later.

Let’s focus on 2019-20 for now as Carrier continued to perform as a key depth player, setting career-highs in assists (12), PIM (39) and points (19) in 71 regular-season games.

With 11 regular season games remaining prior to the NHL going on lockdown due to COVID-19, it is feasible to imagine that Carrier could have easily reached the 25 point plateau and achieved career-highs in goals given that he was one goal away from equalling his previous high of eight.

Furthermore, Carrier continued to be a devastating hitting machine, racking up 213 hits in 71 games in addition to stockpiling 22 Takeaways and coughing up just 8 Giveaways.

He averaged 9:52 minutes of ice time per game but expect that to increase given the upside Carrier has in his arsenal.

His tantalising potential was on full display against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 4, when Carrier went on a tear in a 5-4 overtime win.

The forward showed off his blistering speed by breezing past a defenseman to latch onto a loose puck, circling the zone and then dishing a sublime inch-perfect pass to Nicolas Roy that led to a high-danger chance.

Then, if that dollop of skill wasn’t enough, Carrier went one better later in the contest as he combined his brute strength to take the puck along the boards before flashing his sick hands to weave his way through the offensive zone and then teeing up Paul Stastny to make it a one-goal game.

Both examples point to clear signs that Carrier is more than capable of taking on a bigger and more impactful role for the Golden Knights, and we’ve decided to try and project the winger’s role in 2020-21…

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