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Golden Knights Analysis

VHN’s Golden Knights December Player of the Month: Mark Stone

They still sit atop the Pacific Division standings, but the arrival of Winter hit the Vegas Golden Knights hard. Eight, and now maybe nine players…

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They still sit atop the Pacific Division standings, but the arrival of Winter hit the Vegas Golden Knights hard. Eight, and now maybe nine players (with Daniil Miromanov), are out of the lineup due to injuries as the team went 8-6-1 in the final month of 2022. Now that the Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators in overtime Saturday, we are 47% through the 2022-23 season.

A new year brings a new month and also puts one in the rearview mirror. I'm sticking to my rule of making our player of the month someone new every time. Chandler Stephenson had 20 points in 15 games during the month of December, but was already our pick for October. So sorry, Chandler. Reilly Smith also had a heck of a month with eight goals. But for our December player of the month- we're giving it to the captain.

Mark Stone

With injuries all around the Golden Knights lineup, captain Mark Stone has stepped up and performed for the VGK. Jack Eichel was undoubtedly the biggest loss to the VGK this month, only playing in three games. But with rotating wingers, Stone and Chandler Stephenson remained strong on the first line.

53% of the Golden Knight's goals in the month of December had either Stone or Stephenson factor in on them (25/48). 

Stone has 10 points in his last five games, scoring five goals and six assists. He has been excellent in any given situation, with three even-strength goals, two powerplay goals, and two shorthanded goals in the month. He reached the 500-career point mark on Dec. 13th against the Winnipeg Jets. His average ice time has naturally shot up from around 20 minutes a night to 22+ with head coach Bruce Cassidy relying on the first line amidst injuries.

As one of the players who suffered the most from injuries last season, it is great to see Stone healthy and in the lineup for every VGK game. He is now on the opposite end of where he was last year, as it is now him who is healthy and a big chunk of the team that is not. Stone's leadership qualities as the team's captain have really shown this month, and he will likely Selke Trophy votes for the seventh time in his career.

Stone is on the fourth year of an eight-year $9.5 million AAV deal he signed with the Golden Knights in 2019. He is 30 years old.

Dec. Stat Read: 15 games played, 7-10-17 points, 3 ESG, 2 PPG, 2 SHG, 15.6 shot% and 19:57 ATOI

Highlight of the Month: Sealing the deal in the shootout against the St. Louis Blues to usher in Christmas.

Past Player of the Months (2022-23): October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May