2023 Vegas Golden Knights Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert NHL Picks
Summary of last season
What a ride it was for the Vegas Golden Knights, as they went on to hoist the Stanley Cup last season as they cooled off a hot Florida Panthers team in dominating fashion. They won the championship in five games and posted a +14-goal differential in the series. Domination. That was the story all year for Vegas. In the postseason they went 16-4-2 and finished with a +31-goal differential. In the regular season, they finished with 111 points and were one of the best road teams of the year. They would go 26-7-8 on the road last season. They dominated every single division except their own. They went 12-4 against the Atlantic Division, 10-4-2 against the Metro Division, and 15-5-4 against the Central Division.
C Jack Eichel led the team in points despite playing in only 67 games. He finished with 66 points on 27 goals and 39 assists. C Chandler Stephenson finished second on the team with 65 points on 16 assists and a team-high 49 assists. RW’s Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, along with D Alex Pietrangelo, and C William Karlsson, finished with over 50 points on the season. This Vegas team had production spread out from the top down on their roster. RW Mark Stone only appeared in 43 games but still managed to record 38 points. Marchessault led the way with 28 goals for Vegas. The Golden Knights sent out five goalies last season that combined to allow just 2.74 GA/G.
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Seasons come and go, so now it’s time to take a look at what we can expect from the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023-24:
Vegas traded Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh for a third-round pick during the offseason. Teddy Blueger is off to Vancouver, G Laurent Brossoit is also out as he signed with Winnipeg, while G Jonathan Quick has signed with the Rangers. Trading away Smith is a big loss for this team. And with no immediate replacement, Vegas does head into this next season a little bit weaker than last season. Nonetheless, this team did not need to do much this season as most of their roster remains intact.
Adin Hill- Hill has now had a whole offseason to chill out. He earned himself the starting goalie spot after a magical postseason performance, but the question is if he can play at that level throughout the course of a full season. If he can, Vegas is going to be right back in the thick of things.
Reilly Smith’s Replacement- Smith posted 56 points. Yes, Mark Stone is expected to fill that hole if he can stay healthy, and he is an upgrade over Smith. However, Smith was really productive, and Vegas will be looking for someone to step up.
The Adin Hill and Logan Thompson tandem is back but will be reversed after Hill was perhaps the most crucial part of their championship run last season. Hill went 16-7-1 in 27 regular-season games, allowing just 2.50 GA/G and posting a .915 SV%. Thompson appeared in 37 games and went 21-13-3, allowing 2.65 GA/G and also posted a .915 SV%. I like Hill to be consistent, but I do not expect him to be as solid as he was last year. I think he may end up giving the starting job back to Thompson at some point. However, needless to say, this is projected to be a great tandem for the Golden Knights.
Key Schedule Stretch
November 14th-December 9th- This stretch includes 13 games, with 10 of them being on the road. It will begin with easy trips to Washington, Montreal, and Philly before the heat turns up and they travel to Pittsburgh and Dallas. After the five-game road trip, they will return home to beat up the Coyotes, before hitting the road to take on Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. The remaining four games include two home games against Washington and St. Louis and two road games against St. Louis and Dallas. This is a key stretch to see if Vegas will not only do well on the road like they did last season, but also see how they fare against some solid playoff caliber teams this season.
Stanley Cup Champions - +1200
Conference Winner - +600
Division Winner - +260
This team is no longer the Western Conference titan, but they are still going to be in one of the guaranteed spots in the Pacific Division. I do think Edmonton, Colorado, and Dallas are all better than Vegas heading into the year. However, who’s to say Vegas doesn’t add some weapons around the deadline as they try and repeat. Either way, easy over on the point total and it’s reasonable to see them going on another deep playoff run.
Over 103.5 Team Total Points
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