It feels like it was just yesterday when the Vegas Golden Knights were unveiled as the 31st team in NHL history. But it has now been five seasons of hockey in the desert. Even though they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history this season, the Golden Knights organization has had tremendous amounts of success as an expansion team.
With the offseason upon us for the Golden Knights, let’s take a look at some of the team’s all-time records and see what changes were made this season.
Given the fact that he led the team in 2021-22 and was already ahead in the all-time scoring race, Jonathan Marchessault is still the Golden Knight’s all-time leader in goals, assists, games played, and points.
His 122 goals, 169 assists, and 291 points in 356 games played lead the Golden Knights in every respective category. With Marchy set to be an integral part of the team moving forward, it doesn’t look like anyone will catch him soon.
Jack Eichel’s 14 goals, 11 assists, and 25 points don’t get him into the top-10 in any major statistical category just yet. It will be interesting to see how the all-time scoring race develops with Marchessault, Mark Stone, Jack Eichel, and Max Pacioretty hopefully all healthy and able to play full seasons in 2022-23.
In goal, Robin Lehner is still second in wins to Marc-Andre Fleury’s 117 as Lehner has just 39. Logan Thompson has climbed up to fourth all-time, tying Laurent Brossoit and sitting behind Fleury, Lehner, and Malcolm Subban.
Single Season Records
The Golden Knight’s first season continues to impress on the statistical side of things. William Karlsson’s 43 goals, David Perron’s 50 assists, and Karlsson’s 78 points from that season are all still the Golden Knight’s single-season records.
Keegan Kolesar came close to passing Ryan Reaves’ 74 single-season penalty minutes from 2018-19 as he was just six PIMs short in 2021-22.
On a more personal side of things, the Golden Knights had seven players set new career highs this season. These include Shea Theodore, Nicolas Roy, Keegan Kolesar, William Carrier, Zach Whitecloud, and Dylan Coghlan.
The most notable player to do this though was Chandler Stephenson who increased his point total by 29 and emerged as a top-six forward for the Golden Knights.
In terms of who could break records next season, Pacioretty needs to play in 26 more games to pass both Tomas Nosek and Alex Tuch for seventh all-time in games played. Stone, despite being the team’s captain, still needs to play in 35 more games to crack the top ten and pass Reaves.
For goals, the top-10 is rounded out mostly by current players. But Tuch’s 61 goals can be reasonably passed by Stone (56), Theodore (53), and Stephenson (43) next season. Eichel needs 18 goals to pass Nosek and enter the top-10 in goals scored as well.
In terms of points, the top six names are all current members of the VGK (1- Marchessault, 2- Karlsson 3- Smith, 4- Theodore, 5- Pacioretty 6- Stone).
With just 19 points, Stephenson can pass Tuch for seventh all-time. Also if Smith leaves in the offseason, Theodore can pass him with a 25-point season. Finally, with just 14 points, Alex Pietrangelo can get in on the top-10 all-time points fun and pass Paul Stastny.
Updated Mount Rushmore
It will take some time for the Golden Knights to truly establish their legacy players. But I think we already have a good idea of who some of the names would be if every team in the NHL were required to submit a “Mount Rushmore” of the four best players in team history. For instance, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ one would be easy- Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, and Evgeni Malkin.
If I had to pick four players that best represent the Golden Knight’s history in their five years of existence I would go with Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, and William Karlsson. Let me know who you would pick in the comment box below.