Welcome to a new mini-series here at Vegas Hockey Now, where we will be looking at the Vegas Golden Knight’s current depth chart in specific positions. With little going on right now in the hockey world, we will be starting a new series. Betway will soon release odds for the NHL next season.
This series will examine the Golden Knight’s goaltending, centers, defensemen, and wingers. This can help us get a feel for what moves if any, general manager Kelly McCrimmon could make in the remainder of the offseason. We will be including all players here, whether they are signed to a contract or not. Andrew Hammond, Cory Schneider, and Brayden Holtby are currently on the market.
Today we will look at the Golden Knight’s goaltending, which was lackluster in 2021-22. Both Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit dealt with major injuries throughout the season and struggled as a result. Lehner played in 44 games and put up a respectable 2.83 goals-against average, and a .907 save percentage but looked unsure of himself often. Brossoit started the season off on solid ground but struggled later on and finished with a
A new coaching staff headed by head coach Bruce Cassidy will certainly change up the dynamic in goal for the Golden Knights. Sean Burke has also been hired as the new director of goaltending for the VGK, and Mike Rosati has been promoted to the manager of goaltending development and scouting.
Starter- Robin Lehner
Robin Lehner will be the Vegas Golden Knight’s starting goaltender to start the 2022-23 season. Book it.
As mentioned before, last season was a mess for the panda, but it looks like the Golden Knights are willing to give him another chance in 2022-23. This past season put a rough stain on Lehner’s reputation, but the guy is still capable of being an elite NHL goaltender. He has won the William Jennings trophy twice, the Masterton once, and the Calder Cup with the Binghamton Senators as the tournament MVP. He was brought in for a reason, and that was to be the new starting goaltender after replacing Marc-Andre Fleury.
He is far from a bad goaltender. He just had a rough season and will look to bounce back with a healthy body, a new coach, and a new mindset in 2022-23.
Backup- Laurent Brossoit
As things currently stand, Laurent Brossoit is recovering from an offseason medical procedure to his hip. His status for training camp is unknown. There are still rumors of Brossoit, and his $2.3 million cap hit being traded elsewhere for cap relief. But again, as things currently stand, he is still on the team and will be the Golden Knight’s backup goaltender in October. He ended his 2021-22 season on a sour note as he was pulled against his former team, the Winnipeg Jets, and then missed the rest of the season with an injury. He got into 24 games but had just a 10-9 record.
Like Lehner, Brossoit is a more than capable NHL goaltender and proven backup. He is perhaps the first true NHL backup goaltender in Golden Knights history and will also look for a bounce-back season in 2022-23.
Minor Starter- Logan Thompson
Here is where things get interesting.
In the later stages of the Golden Knights season, in their unsuccessful push for the playoffs, 25-year-old goaltender Logan Thompson came up through the system and turned heads. He managed to play 19 games and record a 2.77 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He looked calm and collected as a rookie goaltender and stole games from the likes of Lehner and Brossoit while they were struggling with both their play and injuries.
The play of Thompson for the Golden Knights in 2021-22 was so impressive that Team Canada snagged him for the 2022 World Championships, where he played in four games and won Silver. The undrafted 6-foot-3 goaltender made has made his way through the minors in both the ECHL and AHL, and is not set on making to the NHL full-time in 2022-23.
Thompson’s emergence has created many questions for the Golden Knights. Perhaps the most important is whether or not he is for real and ready to be an NHL’er full-time. This could lead the Golden Knights to potentially move on from Brossoit or even Lehner to give the kid Thompson a shot at being the Golden Knight’s new goaltender.
I do not think the Golden Knights are looking to make that decision just yet. Especially because it looks like they want to give both Lehner and Brossoit another chance to prove themselves, but if they continue to struggle in the season, I could see Brossoit pushing and shoving his way into the NHL full-time. Training camp will be huge for Thompson.
Minor Backup- Michael Hutchinson
You could look at the Golden Knight’s decision to sign AHL goaltender Michael Hutchinson as more reason to believe in Logan Thompson. Hutchinson will likely spend the entirety of the 2022-23 season with the Henderson Silver Knights in the AHL, as he has carved up a nice minor-league career for himself. He is more than capable of being an AHL starter or backup. He last played with the Toronto Marlies in 2021-22, and 3.23 goals against average and an 8.99 save percentage. He got into two games with the Maple Leafs and has a total of 137 games of NHL experience.
The Golden Knights have five more goaltenders in their system, with Isaiah Saville and Jiri Patera being the most notable ones. These two will likely spend the upcoming season with the Silver Knights and be relied upon if injuries occur in the system. Saville is a 21-year-old University of Nebraska-Omaha goaltender who just signed a three-year NHL entry-level contract with the VGK. Saville was a 2019 fifth-round pick by the Golden Knights. Patera is a bit of a more experienced goaltender at 23 years of age and served as backup for the VGK in games last season.
Jesper Vikman, Cameron Whitehead, and Carl Lindbom are unsigned goaltending prospects in the Golden Knight’s system.
Areas of Need
While controversial, it looks like the Golden Knight’s goaltending is set for the 2022-23 season. A lot of what we could see happen down the road is on the shoulders of Logan Thompson.