Should the Vegas Golden Knights go after Leon Draisaitl?

Leon Draisaitl has expressed interest in leaving Edmonton once his contract is up. Should the Vegas Golden Knights go after him?
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers - Game Seven
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers - Game Seven / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Leon Draisaitl made a statement concerning his future with the Edmonton Oilers after losing in the Stanley Cup Final. It raised eyebrows across the league, including the front office for the Vegas Golden Knights.

"Is Draisaitl thinking of leaving the Oilers?"

"Does my team have a shot at acquiring his services?"

These are some of the questions floating around regarding the superstar forward. His statement could lead to something bigger, with teams like the Golden Knights and Boston Bruins exploring a deal. Suddenly, the hockey world is buzzing with rumors and odds on where he'll land once his contract's up. Ladies and gentlemen, it's officially the offseason.

The German megastar has produced 100-point seasons in five of his last six campaigns, with the exception being 2020-21 during a pandemic. One can bet he would've hit the century mark if that season was 82 games as well, for he had 84 points in 56 games. Few goal scorers in hockey can do what Draisaitl does, making him a coveted talent.

While the Edmonton Oilers are worrying about one of their megastars leaving for other pastures, let's explore the possibility of bringing Leon Draisaitl to the Vegas Golden Knights. Fans would immediately imagine the German center with Jack Eichel creating ridiculous plays and scoring goals. It could also shake the NHL universe to its core, setting Vegas above everyone else.

But what would the logistics be regarding the deal? How could Vegas swing a deal and keep key pieces like Eichel around? Opportunities like this only come once in a lifetime, with the rest of the NHL watching with intent eyes. Here are the pros and cons of signing Leon Draisaitl.

The pros of signing Leon Draisaitl

Everyone knows Leon Draisaitl is a scoring machine. He's scored 50+ goals three times during his NHL career and regularly produces 100-point seasons. As mentioned, he's done this five out of the last six campaigns, making him one of the league's best.

There's also the overwhelming impact he has on special teams. He's scored 124 power play goals and 123 power play assists in his last six seasons. That's enough to carry the Vegas Golden Knights unit for years, making them much more lethal. He scored 39 power play points in 2023-24 alone. Considering the unit has historically struggled, this would greatly boost Vegas.

Although his play away from the puck isn't the best, he's working on this aspect. Besides, it's his offensive game that's a major selling point. That goes beyond the simple stat sheets, where he can race past opposing defenders with his speed. Add his on-ice vision and he's a scoring threat every time.

Opportunities like this only come once in a lifetime. If Draisaitl hits the open market and comes to the Golden Knights, it can boost the team's odds of winning the Stanley Cup. It makes Vegas much more formidable in more ways than one, boosting the power play and adding offensive bite.

The cons of signing Leon Draisaitl

Imagine a world where Jack Eichel is dishing out passes on a two-on-one rush to Leon Draisaitl. The former second-overall pick finds the German superstar, where he fires off a shot and scores. The Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup in overtime, establishing themselves as a bona fide powerhouse.

The only problem is that Vegas can only keep one of those players. Unless there's a drastic overhaul of the roster, the team would make some notable sacrifices to keep both players. Draisaitl is expected to make roughly $13 million in his next contract, a lofty deal for the salary cap-conscious Golden Knights to make.

There are also rumors surrounding Mitch Marner that aren't going away. They've expressed interest in moving players such as Shea Theodore, Logan Thompson, and Adin Hill, which would free some cap space to make the move. So why would they also go after a player expected to carry a massive cap hit? It would tie up the team financially, leaving them to make some seismic moves. They don't have the farm system to currently do this, which would hamper their future outlook.

Whatever the case, this summer will set the tone for such a pursuit. The Golden Knights are already looking to retain a key "Golden Misfit," currently negotiating with his agent. The team is looking to free up cap space to get Marchessault back, which would involve a trade or two. If it takes some moving around to retain him, imagine what would happen with Leon Draisaitl.