After making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season as an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights want to get another taste of it this season.
The team is third in the Pacific Division with 69 points. While that is all well and good, both wild card teams in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars (67 points) and Minnesota Wild (66 points), are within striking distance.
To try and separate themselves from the pack, they went ahead and acquired some much needed offense when they traded defenseman Erik Brannstrom to the Ottawa Senators for Mark Stone. Stone was someone that a lot of teams probably wanted so the Golden Knights were lucky to grab him before anyone else did.
In Stone, the Golden Knights someone who can put the puck in the net (Has 28 goals as of February 25), dish the puck off to teammates (Has 34 assists as of February 25), and put up points (Has 62 points as of February 25) at a great rate. Basically put, they got someone who will be the perfect kind of player for a postseason run.
With Stone, the team’s goal totals should go up until the end of the regular season. The team is 15th in the league in goals scored.
Being 15th in the league in goals scored certainly is not terrible. With that said, the Western Conference is known for team’s that can put the puck in the net with ease so the Golden Knights are going to need more guys that can score goals.
This is a solid move for the Golden Knights. Stone was a hot commodity and the Golden Knights were smart to take him off the market in time for the stretch run over the next month.
It will be interesting to see what happens if he finishes the year strong and is a contributor with the club in the playoffs should they get there. If this happens, it would not surprise me if the Golden Knights try and sign him to a big deal come the off-season.
For the Golden Knights and Stone, this could be the beginning of a fruitful relationship.