Editor’s note: Vegas finally has a roster. It’s time to get excited. We will be introducing you to these new Golden Knights players.
Deryk Engelland being drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights was probably the most puzzling expansion draft selection.
Engelland has lived in Nevada for more than a decade and even played for the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers from 2003-05. He's part of the community and understands it in a way not many other NHLer's would. He's exactly the spokesperson the Golden Knights would want.
The puzzling part is they could have had him without using an expansion draft selection.
The veteran unrestricted free agent was long believed to be wanting to sign with the Golden Knights when free agency began. By doing this, they could have also selected a player (such as prospect Hunter Shinkaruk) and taken two players from the Calgary Flames.
Nevertheless, the Golden Knights signed Engelland to a one-year, $1 million deal. Here's a look at what they'll be getting from the veteran defenseman.
If Intangibles/60 were part of analytics, Engelland would be ranked near the top of the league. A gritty, tough, 'good-in-the-room', leadership-type player, Engelland will be a great spokesperson for the Golden Knights in their infancy.
On the ice? Well...
It's important to note he is a 35-year-old defenseman has a long career under his belt. Drafted in the sixth round in 2000 by the New Jersey Devils, he struggled and clawed his way up the ranks and into the NHL late into his 20s. Nothing has been handed to him.
This is the kind of guy teammates rally around.
This is where things get a bit dicey.
He has played 469 NHL games scoring 22-goals and 86 points while amassing 500 penalty minutes.
These are his numbers the last three seasons:
- 215th of 249 - Goals For percentage (43.95)
- 226th - Goals For percentage relative (-6.30)
- 229th - Corsi Against per 60 (60.10)
- 238th - Corsi For percentage (44.24)
- 130th - iCorsi per 60 (8.86)
This are not very good numbers. They speak of a gritty defenseman who is perhaps not very effective anymore.
I once referred to Engelland as having been signed to be the team mascot for a year. While a joke, this may actually be true. Granted, there is a chance he might play. I suspect the Golden Knights might want to have him on the ice since he was one of the players on stage the night of the expansion draft.
He will be great in the community, great in the locker room, and in the latter half of the season when we will likely see a lot of the younger players in the lineup, he'll be great to have around as a teacher.
But, that likely will be the breadth of his contributions. And on a bad team, that is more than enough.
Besides, anyone who punches Milan Lucic in the face is good in my books.