The Questions that Need to be Answered for the Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights Stadium. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Vegas Golden Knights Stadium. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Jake Leschyshyn is warming up for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Has Any of the Vegas Golden Knights Rookies Done Well Enough?

The Vegas Golden Knights have faced injuries to some of their best players this season, and quite frankly, it’s been fun to watch. When players go down, that means that there are going to be chances given. Lucky for some of the Knights prospects, there were plenty.

So far this season the Vegas Golden Knights have awarded opportunities to: Pavel Dorofeyev, Jack Dugan, Kaedan Korczak, Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Paul Cotter, Ben Jones, Daniil Miromanov. Now, not all of them played, but some did. Now the question that needs to be asked is: Have any of the Vegas Golden Knights prospects played well enough to keep an NHL spot?

Personally, I feel an argument can be made regarding two of those names, but I don’t think it’s the two you think.

Jake Leschyshyn

The Vegas Golden Knights could have a budding star with center, Jake Leschyshyn. Since coming up to the NHL level, Leschyshyn has impressed me every game. Given the fact that he’s not the same caliber of talent as Peyton Krebs, I feel he goes overlooked for the Knights.

Peyton Krebs has the ability to be one of the most impactful players for any organization which is currently the Buffalo Sabres. Krebs was an elite skater, great with the puck on his stick, and showed very good IQ. However, I don’t really feel that Leschyshyn is that far off.

Jake Leschyshyn has played in 17 games with the Vegas Golden Knights in which he has one goal and three assists. Now, your first thought is probably “that is crap” and “he can’t compete at the NHL level.” Which can be considered true at this point. However, that’s not the style he plays on the ice.

Leschyshyn has never really been one of the most productive players but he is a grinder. He skates hard and plays hard. In 17 games this season he has 14 blocks, 17 hits, and seven takeaways. He’ll never really be the most productive player on the ice, but he’ll be consistent which is something we don’t have a lot of on the Vegas Golden Knights.

Paul Cotter

I’m sure that when I said I feel there are two people that could keep a spot or compete you were thinking Jake Leschyshyn and Jonas Rondbjerg. Although Jonas Rondbjerg has played very well this season for the Vegas Golden Knights, Paul Cotter adds a different element to the Knights.

Paul Cotter made an impression on me during the pre-season alongside another prospect, Jack Dugan. Cotter was taking shot after shot after shot and somehow they were all very good looks. His offensive skill-set makes me think that what he can offer the Vegas Golden Knights is different than anyone else they’d give a shot too.

So far Cotter has played in six NHL games with the Vegas Golden Knights. In those six games he has two goals on 10 shot attempts. Now, although he doesn’t have an assist to go along with those goals, he does show that he can score at the NHL level which is much harder to do than in the AHL.

So when it comes down to the prospects they’ve given shots too so far this season, the one who’s made the biggest impression on me has been Cotter. As I said, his potential from a scoring perspective is elite. His impressive wrist shot reminds me of a Auston Matthews type of shot. Which is very high praise. If they can get an elite scorer out of Cotter, then the Vegas Golden Knights have nothing to worry about. Everything else will works itself out.

So now we’ve covered the the Rookies and trade candidates, so now let’s take a look at what the Vegas Golden Knights lineup could look like when everyone is healthy.