Which Golden Knight has been the Most Important This Season?

The Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
The Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Vegas Golden Knights have had quite the roller coaster this season. After starting the season off rough due to multiple injuries, to start getting some players back just to see a couple more big names hit the IR. It’s safe to say this has been quite the season. However, it makes this team that much more special.

In a league with about 736 of the best hockey players in the world, being able to go out and gather wins is not easy. More so than that, going out and getting wins when some of your best players are hurt makes it that much sweeter.

The Vegas Golden Knights have been in a difficult situation this season. Well, until recently that is. Nonetheless, the Vegas Golden Knights have had a ton of moving pieces to account for a ton of losses this season. So, now that 2021 is almost over with, who’s been the most important piece for the Knights?

When making a piece like this, it can get a little tricky. Everyone has their own opinions because everyone views the topic differently. That’s why I’m typing this paragraph before getting too far into this article. There are a ton of different things to look for; You can say the top point getter, you can say the goalie, you can say the coach even. That’s what makes this so hard. So I’m going to explain my criteria before explaining my choice.

What is My Criteria?

So I actually took some time to think this part through to determine a answer that most people, including myself, can agree on. That’s when I decided that I’m weighing more towards the position of: Who can the Vegas Golden Knights Always Depend on?

That could be any number of players, sure. However, I think I was able to narrow the list down and make a very good choice given what I’m currently thinking. However, if you do have a different answer than I, please let me know down below. I’d love to hear you’re thoughts. Now, my answer…

Which Golden Knight has been the most important this season?

Narrowing down the list of Vegas Golden Knight players that they can always depend on was actually quite difficult to do. I mean, the Knights have obviously had a hard time dealing with injuries this season but even in the darkest times, they still found a way to win. So, how can you say you can always depend on someone if you can win without someone?

It’s that question that had me leaning towards goalie, Robin Lehner. However, he’s struggled in net over the past couple weeks and they’ve still found a way to win. For that reason it had me leaning towards forward, Chandler Stephenson. I mean after all, he’s having a breakout season. However, I think there is a better choice– Shea Theodore.

What Makes Shea Theodore The Most Important Player This Season?

Looking at the begging of the season, I’m sure it’s hard to picture anyone saying that Shea Theodore is the most important player on the Knights to finish up the first part of the season. Well, open you’re eyes because it just happened. Okay, in all seriousness, it may not seem like he deserves that title, but he does and here’s why.

Shea Theodore, as a defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights has had to deal with the backlash of not having a great two-way group ahead of him. So in other terms, he has to try to alter his style of play to become a defensive defenseman. Which, in case you haven’t watched Theodore play much- it’s not his best trait. Not to discredit him as a defenseman, but he’s been considered a offensive defenseman for most of his time with the Knights.

Over the course of the past couple seasons Theodore has played in 293 games. In those 293 games Theodore has 45 goals, 131 assists for a total of 176 points. Even with those stats being pretty good, the best stat of his is his +/- line. In his five seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights, has been able to put up a +/- of +47.

So it’s clear that he’s been able to succeed when he’s on the ice, but more so than that, he continues to display a talent that the Vegas Golden Knights can depend on. He is currently averaging 22:36 of ice timer per game which is second behind Alex Pietrangelo. Additionally, I will say with that- since he’s started to line with Pietrangelo, his time on the ice has exceeded it’s current average.

Another good stat that tells the story that Theodore is the most important player so far is that he is currently 29 games into the season and has six goals. I’m sure you’re saying, that’s terrible. Well, you’re right. However, that doesn’t tell you the fact that he only stands two goals away from last years total in 53 games. Similarly, he is currently only seven goals away from his career high in 2019-20.

Another fact is that since Theodore has started to get rolling, which is based upon looking at the game log is that in the last 20 games, he’s had four goals and 15 assists for 19 total points. Which is almost a point per game as a defenseman which is not frequent occurrence.

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In Conclusion, the Vegas Golden Knights are in a very good position. Now, I get that most of you may not agree with my choice for the most important player, but you can’t just dismiss the fact that since the Knights have really started to turn this around, Theodore has been a huge factor in this teams success. He’s been very dependable for this team, and that’s what makes him the most important player so far this season.

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