Pacific Division offseason rankings and where the Golden Knights stand

With the free agency period dying down, it's time to see where the Vegas Golden Knights stand in their division. How does the NHL Draft help their future?
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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5.) Los Angeles Kings

Future Outlook: The Los Angeles Kings got out of a terrible contract with Pierre-Luc Dubois, sending him to the Washington Capitals. In comes Darcy Kuemper, the former Avalanche goaltender ready for a new adventure in Hollywood. Given his big size and experience, he might be a great fit.

Still, the Kings project to be a defensive-minded team, with their patented 1-3-1 system frustrating opponents. They added Warren Foegele to the mix, hoping to bolster their scoring. But they could run into some issues, with a logjam in front of them. As it stands, Los Angeles might have to make a big move or rebuild. Could Leon Draisaitl be in their future?

4.) Seattle Kraken

Biggest Question: Will the Chandler Stephenson contract become an albatross?

If you're Chandler Stephenson and you get a massive seven-year, $6.25 million AAV contract, you've hit the jackpot. The Seattle Kraken noticed how well the former Vegas Golden Knights star performed, scoring 75 goals and 162 assists since December 3, 2019 (when he was acquired from the Capitals).

However, that could become an albatross for a Kraken team looking to make the playoffs again. They have a young unit led by Matthew Beniers, along with a new head coach in Dan Bylsma. What will happen with that contract if things go awry? Seattle can't expect Stephenson to perform at a high level in his mid-30s.