Why Victor Olofsson will surprise Vegas Golden Knights fans

Victor Olofsson is a cheap signing for the Vegas Golden Knights. Here's why he can surprise Vegas hockey fans this upcoming season.
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Let's be honest. This free agency period hasn't been kind to the Vegas Golden Knights. After watching one of their beloved players put on cowboy boots and head to Tennessee, it left a bad taste in fan's mouths. Then, they tried pivoting to Steven Stamkos, who also got some cowboy boots and headed to Nashville. Four years and $8 million annually can buy you some nice things, it seems. With the big names off the board, fans were livid with what transpired.

However, Kelly McCrimmon did have an underrated signing on Tuesday. This player is a fourth-line winger who previously played for the Buffalo Sabres. His name? Victor Olofsson, a 28-year-old forward from Sweden. He was signed to a one-year, $1.075 million deal, a cheap signing for Vegas. He'll reunite with Jack Eichel, who spent three seasons with the newest Golden Knight.

However, that signing can impact the team positively. Having a tenured winger to add more positional depth is a boon. That's especially true as a seasoned player, where he has six NHL seasons under his belt. However, he brings more to the table than simple depth.

Olofsson scored 90 goals and 92 assists in those six seasons, making him a crucial piece for Buffalo. This proves he has the pedigree to make an impact for Vegas, where the team is severely hurting at the wing position. Yes, he was limited to 51 games, scoring seven goals and eight assists last season. But there's more to his game than being a warm body.

Olofsson brings more dimension to the Vegas Golden Knights offensively

Despite not showing up last season for Buffalo, Victor Olofsson has been a productive player in past seasons. Before his 2023-24 campaign, he had 83 goals and 84 assists in five seasons with the Sabres. The Swedish forward was an underrated piece offensively, providing a spark on the lower lines.

He's also a proficient special teams player, adding more bulk to the unit. Between 2019 and 2023, the former Sabre scored 34 power play goals and 24 power play assists. A historically beleaguered unit like the Golden Knights could use that experience on the man advantage.

That's all thanks to a booming accurate shot that can get past defenders. He's capable of scoring from the point and can finish easily. That comes with finding open ice and efficient skating, where he excels. Plus, he can play both wing positions without any problems. With the lack of reliable wingers, the 28-year-old can be a low-cost steal for the Vegas Golden Knights.

What else is there to know about Victor Olofsson?

There are some shortcomings to Victor Olofsson and his game, though. For one, he has a hard time being consistent. There are times when goals will come easily to him. Other times, he'll go on a cold streak for seven games, making him a liability. That could be problematic for a team without much winger depth.

There's also his lack of size that could be concerning. The Swedish forward stands at 5'11" and weighs 182 lbs. He's seen as mostly an offensive piece, where he can score from a distance. Without a reliable 200-ft. game, he becomes a one-trick pony.

Yet, that was the same thing Jonathan Marchessault went through during his tenure. Despite his size, he made up for it with an incredible work ethic and offensive prowess. In turn, he was one of the most important pieces during the Golden Knights's 2023 Stanley Cup run.

The winger has a chance to prove himself similarly with this deal. He can show last season was a simple aberration, where he can become a proficient goal scorer again. If that's the case, fans will be more forgiving towards Kelly McCrimmon for this free agency period. Will he be Marchessault? No. However, a low-risk move like this can reap huge rewards.