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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Suddenly Have Another Forward Option With Pavel Dorofeyev

The Vegas Golden Knights traded for two forwards to add to their depth at the

The Vegas Golden Knights traded for two forwards to add to their depth at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, Teddy Blueger and Ivan Barbashev. But these past two games, a different kind of "new" player has been turning heads in the Golden Knights lineup, Pavel Dorofeyev.

The 22-year-old has been excellent since being recalled from the Henderson Silver Knights due to a Keegan Kolesar injury. Dorofeyev has scored three points and his first two goals in the NHL these past two games. One came off his face, and the other was a nifty move to the net with a nice shot.

With the current outlook of the Golden Knight's roster, Dorofeyev has gotten a chance to play in the team's top six alongside William Karlsson and Reilly Smith. He has thrived in the opportunity as that line has easily been the team's best in their last two games, both of which were wins.

"He has nice chemistry with those two (Reilly Smith and William Karlsson) because he is strong on pucks and he gives you offensive play, he's not just a rush guy, so you need that," said head coach Bruce Cassidy.

At the beginning of the season, Dorofeyev had a good shot of making the team out of training camp. But according to Cassidy, missed out on the chance as there wasn't a spot for him in the top six, where his game is more suited to play. 

Fellow youngsters Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter made the team because of their ability to play more of a bottom-six role.

"I liked him in training camp, I really did. But we were really healthy in the skill positions and Paul (Cotter) gave us a different element. So he went and worked on his game and you can see how it has paid off," said Cassidy.

Clearly, a top-six role is better suited for the Russian as Dorofeyev is used to scoring goals. Last season he led the Silver Knights in goals with 27 and has 9 in the AHL this season in 32 games played. In December, Dorofeyev was recalled and played three games with the VGK. But with his limited role, he failed to score a point on the fourth line.

Now, at just 22 years of age, the former third-round pick in 2019 has a chance to improve his game with two of the Golden Knight's most offensively gifted players. If he continues to score, he will make his case to stay on the active roster. 

Currently, forwards Mark Stone, Will Carrier, Keegan Kolesar, and Nicolas Roy are all injured, all with various timetables on when they will come back. We know Stone will be out the longest chunk as he recovers from another back injury. Kolesar, Roy, and Carrier can all be considered bottom-six forwards. 

So could Pavel Dorofeyev finally be the answer to a top-six winger the Golden Knights have been looking for ever since both Max Pacioretty and Evgenii Dadonov left last offseason? Forget the ideas of Brendan Brisson or trading for Timo Meier or Patrick Kane. Is Pavel Dorofeyev the answer?

Hypothetical Golden Knights Forward Lineup

Mostly Healthy, but still without Mark Stone

Ivan Barbashev- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault

Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Pavel Dorofeyev

Teddy Blueger- Chandler Stephenson- Phil Kessel

Will Carrier- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar

Scratched: Mark Stone/Brett Howden, Paul Cotter, Michael Amadio

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