The Knights are looking for some overcast because they just signed defenseman, Zach Whitecloud to a big time extension.
The Vegas Knights just released a statement saying that they have signed defenseman, Zach Whitecloud, to a six-year extension with a AAV of $2.75mil per year. Whitecloud, who is currently not with the team as he is recovering from an injury, has been a key part of the Knights success and was expected to be a vital player for them this season. It’s clear that the Knights know that he needs to get locked up now, and that’s exactly what they did.
Going into the season, I expected Whitecloud to be a big part of the Knights, and although he’s not with the team right now, he will be a big part down the stretch. I know it, and it’s clear that the Knights now know that as well. He is an incredibly valuable player, and deserves to get paid as such. However, if your a analytical person, you may not feel that way but you have to take a look at the film.
Whitecloud has played in 72 career games with the Knights. In those games he only has two goals, and 12 assists. To go along with that, he has also appeared in 39 Stanley Cup playoff games in which he has three goals and four assists. Clearly, not the most productive player on the ice, but that’s not what his role is with the team. He’s not a offensive-defenseman, he’s a stay-at-home defenseman who also takes part in the backchecking, and plays a vital part in the breakout game. He’s not asked to go out and put up numbers like Alec Martinez, Alex Pietrangelo, or Shea Theodore because they don’t need more of those guys.
In order to create a well-rounded team, you have to be able to create a balance between offense and defense, and Whitecloud is apart of that. If you have six defenseman who are long range scorers or play-makers, you’re going to leave your goalie at the mercy of a lot more offense than your putting up. There are not many goalies out there who you can truly lean on to take 40 shots each game and still be in the position to win. It’s uncommon to find that, that’s where having guys like Zach Whitecloud is so valuable. Fantastic signing by the Knights front office in order to keep him here long-term.