Brendan Brisson opened training camp as a longshot to make the opening night roster for the Vegas Golden Knights. The 21-year-old is making a strong case not just to make the opening night roster, but to have a spot on the ice when the Stanley Cup championship banner is raised.
The 2020 No.29 overall pick is no stranger to scoring. Brisson had 18 goals (37 points) in 58 games on a Henderson Silver Knights team that had trouble scoring. Brisson was better than a point-per-game player for a season with the University of Michigan and Chicago Steel of the USHL.
Scoring is important, but Brisson needs to do a lot more to have a shot at seeing the banner raised from the ice level. Brisson was noticeable all night long on Friday vs. the Arizona Coyotes. Breaking up passes, executing tape-to-tape saucer paces, and being tough to play against; Brisson was doing it all.
The biggest challenge Brisson faces is one he may have no control over. The Golden Knights are currently at 23 of 23 available roster spots. Somebody would have to be sent down to Henderson or a spot would have to open up via IR or LTIR.
Pavel Dorofeyev, Paul Cotter, and Braden Pachal have two-way contracts but would need to clear waivers prior to being sent to Henderson. That is a chance general manager Kelly McCrimmon would not take with Cotter and Dorofeyev. The Golden Knights have depth at defense with Ben Hutton and Kaedan Korczak. Waiving Pachal may be the collateral damage to getting Brisson on the opening night roster.
Zach Whitecloud is out for a matter of weeks per coach Bruce Cassidy. The path to Brisson joining the roster could get a bit easier should Whitecloud go to IR or LTIR.