Welcome back to Vegas Hockey Now’s season in review series where we look at every player on the Vegas Golden Knights and their 2021-22 season from Michael Amadio to Zach Whitecloud.
You can catch up on the series here: Michael Amadio, Reilly Smith, Jonas Rondbjerg, Keegan Kolesar, Robin Lehner, Alex Pietrangelo, Nolan Patrick, Shea Theodore, Jake Leschyshyn, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Laurent Brossoit, and Mattias Janmark.
Today’s Player is William Carrier.
Stats: 63 GP 9-11-20 pts
Contract: 2 years left at $1.4 million
Games Missed: 19
VHN’s Grade: B-
You would be forgiven if you didn’t realize Vegas Golden Knights depth forward William Carrier had a career-high season in 2021-22. The 27-year-old original Golden Knight put up 20 points in 63 games. He’s not the flashiest of players, but he’s a hard-nosed grinder for the VGK that deserves more respect.
Carrier showed off his 6-foot-2, 218-pound stature this past season frequently as driving to the net was his specialty. It seemed like no matter which line Carrier was on, he was able to gain the offensive zone and cycle the puck with his linemates.
But in terms of scoring, he was a bit frustrating to watch this past season as he could have cashed in on more of his opportunities given the number of chances he had. The biggest thing Carrier needs to work on is his finishing touches with his shot and reactions to the puck.
If he advances this aspect of his game, I could see him scoring up to 15 goals a season for the VGK.
Carrier wasn’t a fighter in 21-22 but laid out 159 hits for the second-most on the team, only behind Keegan Kolesar. Again, he’s a big man and used that to his advantage. With injuries plaguing the VGK all season, Carrier was relied upon in the top-six for a handful of games.
Carrier is the type of player who can bang in a lucky goal in a tight game, and for the Golden Knights, this is exactly the type of player they need if they want to go far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a perfect world, Carrier is a bottom-line winger playing opposite to Keegan Kolesar and the two bash brothers can provide the Golden Knights a solid grinder line similar to Tomas Nosek, Ryan Reaves, and P.E. Bellmare.
At 27 years of age and with two years remaining on his contract, Carrier is in a good spot with the Golden Knights heading forward. There is always the possibility of a player like this being moved on for cap reasons, yes, but Carrier took a step in the right direction in 2021-22 and should perform even better assuming the Golden Knights enter 2022-23 healthy and Carrier plays where he is meant to in the lineup.
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