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Golden Knights Analysis

Who Stays and Who Goes Among Vegas UFAs

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Chandler Stephenson Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

When the Vegas Golden Knights traded for Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl, the surcharge on those deals was never spelled out.

GM Kelly McCrimmon gave up top prospect David Edstrom (2023 first rounder) plus a 2025 first-round pick for Hertl and two third-round picks (2025 and 2027). The cost for Hanifin was a 2026 first-round pick and 2025 third-round pick, plus defensemen Daniil Miromanov.

The added cost, unstated but clear when Hanifin signed a contract extension, is the Golden Knights will likely lose Jonathan Marchessault, an original team member.

After those trades and the Hanifin extension, the Vegas Golden Knights have roughly $900,000 remaining cap space for next season with three roster openings. Presuming Robin Lehner stays on long-term injured reserve, they have an added $5 million.

That means the Golden Knights won’t be able to keep many of their unrestricted free agents this summer. Here’s a rundown of their chances of keeping any UFAs:

Jonathan Marchessault

With a career-high 42 goals this season, the AFP Analytics project Marchessault will get a three-year deal on the open market with an average salary of around $6.2 million.  He is 33, but he is popular with the fan base.

The Golden Knights would have to trade someone like defenseman Shea Theodore ($5 million) to make that work with their current salary cap outlook.

Projection: Marchessault signs elsewhere

Center Chandler Stephenson

Re-signing this veteran player has to be a priority. He has averaged 60 points per season over the past three years. Stephenson is earning $2.75 million this season, and the Golden Knights likely will have to give him at least $5 million to stay. ATF Analytics projects him to get a five-year deal at $5.7 million.

The Golden Knights can make this work, and they probably will.

Projection: Re-signs with Vegas.

Michael Amadio

With 41 goals total over the past three seasons as a bottom six forward, you couldn’t blame Amadio for wanting to see what he could get as an UFA. He’s making under $800,000 this season.

He will probably be offered a deal that the Golden Knights can’t afford to pay him.

Projection: Finds a better deal elsewhere

Left Wing William Carrier

He’s a valuable role player. Carrier scored 16 goals two seasons ago. They missed him when he was injured. But he may attract offers in the $2 million-plus per season in the free agent market place. The Golden Knights can’t give him that without moving out someone.

Projection: Signs with another NHL team.

Defenseman Alec Martinez

He turns 37 in July. He’s still a credible player, very reliable, still works at his game. He would sign for one year, probably in the $1.5 range.

They might be able to make this work. But it might be time to use his roster spot to freshen up the roster a bit.

Projection: Retires or signs elsewhere.

Left Wing Anthony Mantha

He was scratched in the playoffs. The Golden Knights brought him in as a rental player and he didn’t make them change their minds.

Projection: Will sign elsewhere.