Remembering a former Golden Knight featuring Chandler Stephenson

Chandler Stephenson is heading to Seattle after a successful campaign with the Vegas Golden Knights. What made the forward special?
Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken
Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

It's good being Chandler Stephenson right now. He got a good contract with the Seattle Kraken this past week, securing a seven-year, $43.75 million deal ($6.25 million AAV). While that will hurt the Kraken down the road, the forward gets paid for his contributions to the Vegas Golden Knights. Not bad for someone who was nearly placed on waivers.

Still, the former Golden Knight forward had a productive tenure in Las Vegas. He turned into a second-line player who can fit anywhere in the lineup, providing timely scoring and offensive depth. That includes Mark Stone and William Karlsson. Add some speed and terrific skating and you have an underrated piece to Vegas's first Stanley Cup victory.

But he's known for more than simply being a speedy piece for Vegas. He was also a quiet transaction, being traded from the Washington Capitals for a 2021 fifth-round pick. At the time, it was seen as a salary-cutting move, with George McPhee familiar with Stephenson during his time with Washington.

It turned out to be much more fruitful than expected, with the forward putting up incredible stats. Stephenson scored 75 goals, 162 assists, and had a plus/minus of +49 in 327 games since December 3, 2019. It's safe to say he made quality contributions to the team, proving the organization knows how to find diamonds in the rough.

Chandler Stephenson was more than a great regular season piece for the Vegas Golden Knights

Ironically, Chandler Stephenson has two Stanley Cups to his name, both involving the Vegas Golden Knights. In 2017-18, the former third-round pick won his first title with the Capitals, contributing two goals and five assists in 24 games. That came at the expense of Vegas, who fell in five games.

However, he would come back and become an underrated piece in 2023. While fans will remember Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Marchessault (13 goals and 12 assists) and other key pieces like Mark Stone (11 goals, 13 assists), Stephenson also made solid contributions.

The forward scored 10 goals and 10 assists during that run, including two goals in the Stanley Cup Final's fourth game. He was essentially the deciding factor that won Vegas their first championship. That's something for the former Golden Knights star to hang his hat on, for he was crucial to their success.

What's next for the former Vegas Golden Knights star

With Chandler Stephenson's deal with the Seattle Kraken comes a new chapter in his life. He has the opportunity to prove his time with the Vegas Golden Knights wasn't a dud. With a young Kraken team, he can lead his new squad to a similar path. Of course, he hasn't forgotten about the team that made him.

While there might be some drama involving Kelly McCrimmon and other outgoing free agents, Chandler Stephenson's departure didn't have the fanfare with it. Instead, he came to the Golden Knights team quietly and left without much commotion.

It seems fitting for a player who's based his career off living under the radar. However, he'll be remembered for how loud his performance was when it mattered. It doesn't matter if it's during the Stanley Cup Final or with the game on the line. Stephenson didn't need to raise controversy to make his presence felt.