Vegas Golden Knights: What to expect from Carl Dahlstrom in 2020-21

Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck against Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck against Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Just what role will Carl Dahlstrom play for the Vegas Golden Knights?

All of the headlines involving the Vegas Golden Knights recently have revolved around elite defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and rightly so.

Some of the attention was also grabbed by the trade of popular defenseman Nate Schmidt, who was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks for a Third Round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in order to create some cap space.

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However, one move that has gone slightly under the radar has been the acquisition of defenseman Carl Dahlstrom, who was acquired, along with a 2022 Fourth Round pick, as part of the trade that sent veteran forward Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets.

While it was a trade designed to shed Stastny’s $6.5 million cap hit in order to clear the space needed to make a move for Pietrangelo, the Golden Knights now have an intriguing player in Dahlstrom.

A 51st overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Dahlstrom made his National Hockey League debut against the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 10, 2018 and his play with the Rockford IceHogs earned him a trip to the 2017-18 AHL All-Star Game.

Dahlstrom has 10 points (0 G, 10 A) in 64 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets, while the 25-year-old had one point (0 G, 1 A) in 10 games for the Jets with a -4 rating.

The blueliner did average 14:46 minutes of ice time per game in 2019-20, recording 13 blocked shots, 5 hits, 4 Takeaways and 14 Giveaways.

Dahlstrom also averaged a 51.4% CF% and a dZS% of 54.7% during the 2019-20 season for the Winnipeg Jets.

In his career, Dahlstrom, who has yet to play in the postseason, has averaged 17:31 of ice time in the NHL and he’s a good size at 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds.

So, what can we expect from Dahlstrom and what will his role be with the Golden Knights?

Well, with one-year remaining on his current contract that carries a cap hit of $850,000, Dahlstrom may only be around for a cup of coffee in Vegas.

However, there is a pathway for the left shot to succeed with the Golden Knights and establish himself as a regular in the National Hockey League.

Likely to start the 2020-21 season in the American Hockey League with the Henderson Silver Knights, Dahlstrom could compete for a roster spot in the NHL should he carve out a strong Training Camp.

Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks breaks up the ice against the St. Louis Blues. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

He will be battling with the likes of Zach Whitecloud, Nic Hague and Dylan Coghlan for a spot on the third-pair, likely to be alongside veteran Nick Holden.

And, while that berth likely belongs to Whitecloud right now, Dahlstrom would be in the driving seat given that he has experience of playing in the NHL.

Plus, with the Silver Knights located literally next door in Henderson, Dahlstrom will have the opportunity to catch the eye of Head Coach Pete DeBoer and the front office on a more frequent basis even if he does start the year in the AHL.

He will be within reach of the Golden Knights should they need a defenseman for a quick call-up, and that could really benefit Dahlstrom and other young blueliners in the system.

A solid defenseman with a high hockey IQ, great size, impressive reach and a good puck handler who can pass the puck well, Dahlstrom has some upside and he could become a nice seventh defenseman for this loaded Golden Knights team.

With depth on the blueline crucial, particularly when it comes to the postseason, Dahlstrom could be a useful role player and he would be a perfect replacement for Nick Holden on that third-paring should the veteran get hurt or fall off a cliff performance wise in 2020-21.

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Overall, while the Carl Dahlstrom piece of the Paul Stastny trade didn’t grab headlines, the defenseman could prove to be a handy pickup by the Vegas Golden Knights.