Free agent profile featuring Sam Lafferty

With the Vegas Golden Knights facing many questions heading into the offseason, they're looking to replenish their forwards, with Sam Lafferty available.
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

With the Vegas Golden Knights, many questions loom about the team's future. Will a fan favorite "Original Misfit" return to the team? What about the forward position overall? Are there viable depth pieces that can fit on most lines? There's a load of questions Kelly McCrimmon must answer, which will leave some fans disappointed. That's where Sam Lafferty comes into play.

The forward is currently on a Stanley Cup run with the Vancouver Canucks, providing scoring depth for the Pacific Division winners. While Vancouver is an underdog in their series against the Edmonton Oilers, their scoring depth gives them hope to go to the Western Conference finals. Lafferty is a huge factor in those plans.

But what if he becomes a Golden Knight? What would the Pennsylvania native bring to Vegas? Versatility is a value the Golden Knights hold dearly, which is what Lafferty brings to the table. Here's what to expect with the versatile forward.

Sam Lafferty's profile

Sam Lafferty has made a living adding versatility and forward depth to various hockey teams. Whether he's boosting the Chicago Blackhawks or Vancouver Canucks, the center knows how to score on the lower lines. That's evident by the 13 goals and 11 assists in 79 games this season.

He's also a physical player, delivering 191 hits this season. That's not bad for a player getting paid $1.15 million this season. Lafferty is the prototypical checking line player, delivering hits and getting involved offensively. He's an essential part of the Vancouver Canucks lineup, adding strength to the group.

Why Sam Lafferty would work with the Vegas Golden Knights

Sam Lafferty is well-known for his lightning-quick speed. He can easily create breakaway and odd-man rush opportunities, getting separation from defenders in the process. For a heavier team, Lafferty's speed would be a warm welcome.

There's a strong possibility that William Carrier doesn't return next season, with injuries and a drop-off in production hurting him. That's where the Pennsylvania native comes into play, for he doesn't miss too many games. Add in his penalty killing and forechecking abilities and he'd fit in with the Vegas Golden Knights instantly.

Adding physicality and speed would be something Kelly McCrimmon wouldn't pass up. That's especially true with a fourth line that relies on overall size to punish their opponents. However, Lafferty does have some size to his name (6'1", 195 lbs.), which makes him an ideal fit.

The verdict

While it's likely that Paul Cotter gets the call-up to the fourth line as a full-blown member, he was underwhelming at times. Still, the native of Canton, Michigan, is a younger, bigger alternative, which means the Vegas Golden Knights should stick with Cotter. After all, he still needs some seasoning in the NHL, which will help develop his game.

Still, Sam Lafferty is a nice option for the checking line if McCrimmon shuffles up the current fourth line. Adding more speed to the Golden Knights lineup would make Vegas dangerous, leaving opponents behind. Besides, Nicolas Roy has played well enough to warrant a bump in the lineup. There would be room for Lafferty to come in, possibly on a $1.4 million AAV deal for three years.