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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3.) Vegas Golden Knights

Future Outlook: Believe it or not, the Vegas Golden Knights can perform better than expected this upcoming season. Victor Olofsson had a down year last season with the Buffalo Sabres, scoring seven goals and eight assists in 51 games. He's a low-cost acquisition that can rebound with the Golden Knights.

That also goes for Alexander Holtz, acquired with Akira Schmid from New Jersey for Paul Cotter and a 2025 third-round draft pick. Both have the potential to thrive in Vegas's system and are young players. Add an NHL Draft pickup in Trevor Connelly and Vegas might crack open their Stanley Cup window.

2.) Edmonton Oilers

Biggest Question: Was last season Edmonton's best chance?

The Edmonton Oilers nearly made history in the Stanley Cup Final, forcing a seventh game after being down, 3-0. However, they fell short in the deciding game, 2-1, with the Florida Panthers winning their first Stanley Cup. The Oilers missed out on a chance to end Canada's title drought, stemming all the way back to 1993.

But there's a bigger question at play regarding their contention window. Leon Draisaitl is in the last year of his contract. While Edmonton picked up Viktor Arvidsson and Jeff Skinner to bolster their offense, more teams are looking to take their spot. That could mean bad news throughout the season, especially if Draisaitl doesn't return.

1.) Vancouver Canucks

Future Outlook: With a young team ready to win their first Stanley Cup, the Vancouver Canucks are ready to dominate the Pacific Division--and the NHL. Big names such as Quinn Hughes (75 assists), J.T. Miller (37 goals, 103 points), and Elias Pettersson (34 goals, 89 points) have made their presence felt last season, putting up incredible numbers.

However, their depth goes beyond those players. 2024 third-round NHL Draft pick, Melvin Fernstrom, is an up-and-coming piece. He scored 31 goals and 32 assists in 45 games for Orebro HK's J20 National team last season. He's another prospect to watch with Vancouver ascending the NHL ranks.