Ranking the best winger options in free agency for the Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights need some high-profile scoring options that can stay healthy. Who's the best fit for the job?
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Four
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NHL free agency is a period that can change a team's fortunes for the next season. It can catapult a franchise to the divisional mountain top, even making them Stanley Cup contenders. For others, it's just the start of another long year, where the course won't change much.

Of course, that can vary from team to team. Whether it's the hapless Buffalo Sabres that haven't been to the postseason in years or a dominant team like the Dallas Stars, July 1st will be business as usual. For the rest of the league, it provides franchises with a clean slate.

But it's understated how much this will mean for the Vegas Golden Knights. The franchise is losing five forwards as unrestricted free agents, signaling a change in the team's landscape. Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen. But this team will drastically look different from the team hoisting the Stanley Cup a season ago.

Still, it's worth noting some wingers can bring good change to the Golden Knights in free agency. That's what makes the upcoming period crucial for a team with a wide-open Stanley Cup contention window. Making the right move can keep that window cracked open longer, making them into a force.

So let's start looking at which wingers would be right for the Vegas Golden Knights on July 1st. There's a particular player where Vegas's hockey plans will dictate how they operate moving forward. With that, let's look at the five best winger options for Vegas this summer.

5.) Anthony Duclair, Tampa Bay Lightning

Anthony Duclair's name was brought up during the trade deadline, serving as a reliable goal scorer for the San Jose Sharks. Then, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for prospect Jack Thompson and a third-round pick. Now, the Vegas Golden Knights have another shot at obtaining his services during the free agency period.

The Lightning winger scored 24 goals (five on the power play), making him an underrated talent. He's good on special teams and can be brought in for a cheaper price than the big names. Duclair also possesses offensive creativity, making him valuable to franchises like the Golden Knights. He's even improving his play away from the puck, which will help him as a player.

However, his main calling card is his speed. Anthony Duclair can fly past defenders and get numerous scoring opportunities. His puck control is also great, which would make him a good signing. Yes, there are some things the 28-year-old is working on, including his consistency and physicality.

However, if the Vegas Golden Knights aren't keen on spending money on players like Jonathan Marchessault or Jake Guentzel in free agency, this is a nice alternative. That's especially true with Vegas dealing with salary cap tightness, where he can fit seamlessly with a small tweak.