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David Perron will help solidify the Golden Knights’ top six

The veteran winger figures to play a large role for Vegas in its inaugural season.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Despite scoring 18 goals and 46 points last season, the St. Louis Blues made the decision of protecting tough guy Ryan Reaves (now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins) in the expansion draft over David Perron, who, you know, actually has talent.

Luckily for the Vegas Golden Knights, they were able to swoop in and claim the 29-year-old forward without pause.

While the Blues clearly didn’t view Perron as a key component to their top six, he’ll have the potential to fulfill that role in Las Vegas.

Originally selected by St. Louis in the first round (No. 26 overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Blues were quick to get Perron on the big club. At 19 years old, Perron played in 62 games and inevitably dealt with a significant learning curve. As a rookie, he scored a respectable 13 goals and finished the season with 27 points. He now has two 50-point campaigns on his resume and continues to average around a half-point per game despite playing for four different teams over the last three seasons.

Last season, Perron was a Swiss army knife for the Blues. Not only did he spend time on St. Louis’ power play, but he played a major role on the Blues’ penalty killing unit, finishing the season as one of the league’s best forwards in shorthanded situations. He also scored a short-handed goal! Granted, the goalie wasn’t in net, but still. Short-handed goals are fun!

Even though Perron is still relatively new to being a consistent penalty killer, he seems to enjoy having the trust of his teammates in shorthanded situations.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

I love it. It keeps your legs going. I think when you don’t get stuck out there, you stay on for 15, 20 seconds, it’s really keeping your legs moving, not sitting on the bench for three or four minutes. To me it’s a huge difference when you go back to five on five and I think the awareness factor of getting your stick in the right lanes, in the passing lane, getting your body in the shooting lane, I think that carries over to five on five and even other things, even for power play. It can show you some of the plays you can maybe work with the other guys to see if they’re going to work.

The Sherbrooke, Quebec native is entering the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $3.75 million, which is a fair price to pay given his versatility. With James Neal also in the fold, it’s possible the Knights could have a top line consisting of Russian superstar Vadim Shipachyov centering Neal and Perron, which would surely be a prime source of point production for Vegas.