With the emergence of the Vegas Golden Knights’ new roster, one has to wonder. Will this team impress in it’s inaugural season? Or is there an utter disappointment on it’s way? First to give a few statistics, a quick look at their Expansion Draft roster, and then a prediction.
In order to have an arguable guess as to how this shiny new team will do in its’ first season, one should refer to a list of modern expansion teams’ inaugural records. *Note that the list is ordered least successful to most successful.
|1992-93 Ottawa Senators||84||10||70||4||0||24||0.143||202||395||-193|
|1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers||82||14||57||7||4||39||0.232||170||313||-143|
|1991-92 San Jose Sharks||80||17||58||5||0||39||0.244||219||359||-140|
|1992-93 Tampa Bay Lightning||84||23||54||7||0||53||0.315||245||332||-87|
|1998-99 Nashville Predators||82||28||47||7||0||63||0.384||190||261||-71|
|2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets||82||28||39||9||6||71||0.410||190||233||-43|
|2000-01 Minnesota Wild||82||25||39||13||5||68||0.393||168||210||-42|
|1993-94 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||84||33||46||5||0||71||0.423||229||251||-22|
|1993-94 Florida Panthers||84||33||34||17||0||83||0.494||233||233||0|
Let’s look at the Florida Panthers’ 1993-94 inaugural season. Realistically, this is an incredible season for a first-year team, especially compared to Ottawa’s first year (2nd worst record in NHL history). With a goal differential of 0, and a regulation win percentage just below .500, this record is going to be tough to beat for Vegas. Can they do it? Heck yes. But how, you ask? One word:
The 32 year old, 3-time Stanley Cup champion, 14 season veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, or as many know him, “Flower”. How can one go wrong? Over his career, Fleury has posted a regular season save percentage of .912, and a playoff save percentage of .909 not to mention over 400 combined regular season and playoff wins. Fleury alone will win this team around 25 games, purely by being the outstanding goalie that we know him to be. That being said, the combination of youth and experience that Vegas selected in the expansion draft and the players that they will select in the entry draft will get them 15 wins. Players like James Neal, Marc Methot, Deryk Engelland, and Luca Sbisa bring grit and invaluable experience to a new team. All of this considered, Vegas will manage to squeak 25 wins. That’s 40 wins- a better record than 11 current teams posted in the 2016-17 season. Put short? We’ve got a record breaking inaugural season coming our way.
So that’s the prediction. 40 wins, 42 losses (OT included). Not too shabby.
Here’s a list of the Golden Knights’ expansion selections, in case you wanted to look it over.
|Trevor van Riemsdyk||D|