The Vegas Golden Knights lost forward, Alex Tuch, to a six month surgery. After showing promise since entering the league, and growing each year, just how impactful is that loss?
The Vegas Golden Knights are a incredibly talented team from their forwards, to their defenseman, and goalie. Since coming into the league in 2017, they have showed they have everything they need to win a Stanley Cup, they have just fallen short. Last year, the Golden Knights were able to take on the favorited, Colorado Avalanche, and they ended up winning. Within their playoff spark last year, one of their best player was arguably, Alex Tuch.
Alex Tuch Playoff touch
Alex Tuch who wasn’t considered a top contributor during the regular season, showed he was a important part of the Vegas offense. In the 2020-21 playoffs last season, Tuch appeared in 19 games which he recorded four goals, five assists, and a +/- of +6. Although, not super productive, his role on the ice and what he was able to do with the puck on his stick speaks for itself.
He was a big part to the offense in May and what they were able to accomplish. However, after the season ended it was reported that he was going to require shoulder surgery. The surgery was successful but, he’s still going to be sidelined until January or February. So what does that loss mean for the Knights this season?
The loss of Alex Tuch
Alex Tuch isn’t one of the top options on the Knights, but he still plays a valuable part to their offense. Last season Tuch played in 55 games in which he was able to tally 18 goals, 15 assists, for 33 points. He was also able to finish the season with a +/- of +16. Looking at what Tuch’s value is, just how impactful is the loss of Tuch to start the season?
The Knights have done a phenomenal job at creating a team centered around a high powered offensive attack. With that being said, Tuch’s loss is going to be very noticeable. Tuch was going be a big part to their approach this season, and losing out on his production for the first couple months could be a problem to start the season. However, they took precautions with their off-season knowing they’ll be without him.
This off-season the Knights went out and signed Nolan Patrick, Evgenii Dadonov, and they also have top prospect Peyton Krebs. However, are those players going to be able to fill the void left by Tuch?
Evgenii Dadonov gives the Knights another veteran winger who can still produce goals. However, bringing him in gives the Knights another option and mentor for some of the younger guys like Nolan Patrick and Peyton Krebs. The production from Evgenii Dadonov was lacking last year but, prior too last season, Dadonov had scored 20+ goals in each of his last three seasons. Dadonov on a full-season schedule could look to put up 20+ goals again with Knights which would be considered a huge win.
Nolan Patrick was a second overall pick made by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Patrick was projected to be a star by multiple scouts however, after a disappointing start to his career, the Flyers let him walk in free agency. The Knights, knowing the need for more offense, jumped on the opportunity to sign the young forward.
Patrick missed the 2019-20 season due to a migraine disorder, but after playing in 52 games last season and not producing, he will be looking to rejuvenate his career with the Vegas Golden Knights. What his role will look like, it’s unclear at this point. If he can even become half the player he was projected to be, the Knights are going to be in a very good situation.
Peyton Krebs is currently listed as the top prospect according to Corey Pronman at The Athletic. Krebs is a projected star but after some concerning decisions with the puck in the pre-season, he’s going to need to really step up in order to get a roster spot to start the season.
I don’t expect Krebs to start the season on the roster however, he could earn his way to seeing some action this season. Krebs has shown up during training camp and although he’s made some bad decisions with the puck, he’s got every tool needed to become a top tier player at the NHL level.
In Conclusion, the Vegas Knights have multiple options to fill in for Tuch while he is out rehabbing his shoulder. If Dadonov can perform like he has in the past, and if Patrick perform like he was projected to out of college, the Knights are going to have absolutely no problem finding offense in Tuch’s absence.