Another X-Factor for the Vegas Golden Knights Playoff Run

Wait, there's another x-factor for the Vegas Golden Knights in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup? Who is it?
Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights
Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

There was a defensive x-factor mentioned for the Vegas Golden Knights before the Stanley Cup playoffs started. His name was Brayden McNabb, well-known for blocking shots and creating mismatches for opposing teams. However, there is an offensive x-factor that not many people are talking about.

This player is growing as a hockey player, notching 13 goals and 28 assists this season. With his growth, he's earned time on the top line, showcasing said growth to the Golden Knights community. It's safe to say this offensive stud is ready for a bigger role with the team.

While he might reside on the Golden Knights's checking line, he's destined for more as a Golden Knight. After all, Vegas has a superteam with all their offensive firepower right now. Here's a look at the offensive x-factor for the Vegas Golden Knights and who that is.

Nicolas Roy is the Offensive X-Factor for the Vegas Golden Knights

Nicolas Roy has secretly been a big part of the Golden Knights's success, serving as a vital piece in many ways. He's grown on the power play, making him a special team asset. How so? The 27-year-old has six power play assists this season. He even has a short-handed goal this season, adding to his special teams repertoire.

The native of Amos, Quebec, is also a versatile player, playing on any line. Whether on the top line or relegated to his current role, Roy can fit anywhere in Bruce Cassidy's lineup. That's a big plus for the Golden Knights, who value versatility and utility on their team.

Speaking of versatility, that's what the center brings in the series. His big body makes him a threat on the forecheck, dominating the Stars. Dallas has a deep group of forwards, which means taking them out of the equation. With Roy's dominating style, he can do that with ease.

The Vegas Golden Knights also need someone who plays in any situation, specifically against an offensive force like Dallas. The Stars aren't afraid to shoot the puck, which is where Roy comes in. His presence on the forecheck can take those shooting/passing lanes away, stopping any offensive momentum for the Stars.

Roy's Growth is Vegas's Growth

As Nicolas Roy grew on the power play, so did the Vegas Golden Knights. He added new components to his game and boosted his shot, making him dangerous. They've added new pieces, creating more space up front. With bigger bodies up front (i.e. Tomas Hertl), it creates more havoc for the goaltender trying to stop the shot. In turn, it's led to more offensive zone time and, of course, more goals.

That's proven by the Golden Knights carrying the top four players in offensive zone time percentage with the man advantage. With Stone (79.3, 1st) followed by Hertl (78.7), Chandler Stephenson (78.4), and Noah Hanifin (74.9), Vegas can now control the pace on special teams. For Jake Oettinger, that's bad news. The Stars goaltender isn't strong in short-handed situations, which would benefit the Golden Knights.

Roy himself has a bigger body, standing at 6'4". He can become a complete mismatch for opposing defenders, making it harder for them to check him. His role in the power play will grow with time, with his role expanding after some players depart. Roy's development will help the cause, making him into the next great Golden Knight.

As for right now, he's relegated to working on the checking line with Keegan Kolesar and William Carrier. That's not bad, for this line has plenty of scoring itself. With Roy, Kolesar (eight goals and 10 assists this season), and Carrier (six goals in 39 games this season), Vegas can punish Dallas and go on the offense. It's fitting for a player like the Quebec native ready to take over the playoffs.