Group President George McPhee and normal supervisor Kelly McCrimmon consider the veteran newcomer is the lacking hyperlink in Vegas’ quest for a Stanley Cup simply 4 seasons after getting into the league.
Pietrangelo spent 12 seasons with St. Louis after being drafted fourth general in 2008 and was the Blues’ captain after they gained the Stanley Cup in 2019.
The 2-time NHL All-Star defenseman signed a seven-year, $61.6 million contract with Vegas as a free agent in October. It was a expensive transfer, because the Knights traded heart Paul Stastny to Winnipeg and fan favourite defenseman Nate Schmidt to Vancouver. They had been selections coach Peter DeBoer was glad the staff made contemplating the way in which his staff appears to be like heading into the season opener Thursday towards Anaheim.
DeBoer has watched the 6-foot-3, 210-pound top-tier blue-liner have a right away influence by mixing into an already stacked lineup throughout coaching camp.
”(He) appears to be like so much higher in our uniform than in a St. Louis uniform taking part in towards us,” DeBoer stated. “He’s bought an excellent hockey IQ. He loves to speak about how he sees the sport being performed and programs. Actual refreshing. We’ve had some good dialogue. He retains getting higher each day.”
Since getting into the league in 2008, Pietrangelo ranks thirteenth amongst all defensemen with 450 factors. His 109 targets are tied for eleventh in that span, whereas his 341 assists are Tenth-highest the previous 12 seasons. Pietrangelo additionally ranks seventh amongst defensemen with 25 game-winning targets since making his debut.
He’s already established a management function throughout camp, lending his expertise and staying vocal all through observe periods. He’s displayed the kind of velocity the Golden Knights will want within the defensive finish towards a reshuffled West Division that now consists of Colorado, Minnesota and St. Louis, a trio towards which Vegas has gone 11-15-1 over its brief historical past.
“The velocity that we’ve, particularly up entrance, goes to be vital for us. That’s new to me taking part in forwards that may generate this a lot velocity,” stated Pietrangelo, who registered a career-high 16 targets in 70 video games final season. “I believe it helps my sport transferring the puck. As we proceed to go and everybody begins discovering their place and getting used to the programs, I believe it’ll actually make issues simpler for me in the way in which I wish to play the sport.”
Pietrangelo, who has been paired with Brayden McNabb, figures to be a key cog on the penalty kill, one thing Vegas desperately wants. Over their first three seasons within the NHL, the Golden Knights are tied with Detroit in permitting a league third-worst 170 power-play targets —- 32 of which got here within the postseason, which ranks final.
“He’s a type of guys that he could be a one-man breakout,” stated Vegas ahead Ryan Reaves, who performed with Pietrangelo for seven seasons in St. Louis. “That’s one factor I’ve all the time stated about him is you set it in his nook, he’s arduous to hit, he’s very sneaky within the corners with the puck. He sees the ice very nicely. He makes one transfer on you, makes you miss, and he brings the puck out by himself.”
The second defensive pairing figures to be Alec Martinez and Shea Theodore, who completed sixth within the voting for the Norris Trophy because the NHL’s high defenseman final season, two spots behind Pietrangelo. The third set will embrace younger Zach Whitecloud, who emerged final season together with his stellar play. Veteran blueliner Nick Holden cleared waivers on Tuesday, which means Vegas has 10 defensemen it could use this season. Anticipate Whitecloud to be paired with Holden, Nic Hague or Dylan Coghlan.
That being stated, it’s the addition of a top-tier defenseman like Pietrangelo that has the Golden Knights excited for what is likely to be their deepest and most gifted staff.
“He actually does all of it,” top-line wing Mark Stone stated. “I believe as soon as the season begins you’re going to see his play communicate for itself.”
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