Things have been crazy for the Vegas Golden Knights as of late. They finally have uniforms, a team and rookies. It’s legit.
With the regular season just a couple months away, you may be wondering whose jersey you should buy. This is an especially hard task for Golden Knights fans as the team continues to take shape. There’s no telling who will be moved and who will remain in Vegas by the time the season starts.
Luckily, we’re here to help. If you’re going to buy a Golden Knights jersey, these players are likely the guys whose sweaters you can wear with pride.
This might be the most obvious. Fleury was the most universally-acclaimed selection the Golden Knights made in the expansion draft. The veteran goalie is coming off his third Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and figures to be the face of the franchise for the Knights as long as he remains in Vegas. While the 32-year-old goaltender didn’t have a great 2016-17 season, he should be able to bounce back in Vegas with the starting job securely in hand. Fleury is probably the best player on the Golden Knights’ roster and would make a great choice as you select your first jersey.
Neal is far and away the flashiest player the Golden Knights acquired. The 29-year-old winger has never scored fewer than 20 goals in a season during his nine-year NHL career, which is kind of a big deal. Neal is set to enter the final year of his contract, but with a such a shortage of proven goal scorers, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Golden Knights signed him to a multi-year contract extension at some point. He will likely be the top offensive playmaker for Vegas this season and it may be some time before they can replace him with a home-grown talent.
It was a huge surprise when the Florida Panthers didn’t protect Marchessault. Vegas took advantage of the situation and not only added Marchessault to the roster, but somehow managed to steal Reilly Smith from Florida, as well. Marchessault, 26, scored 30 goals and 51 points for the Panthers last year and figures to play a significant role in the Knights’ top six next season. If Marchessault continues his upward trajectory, he’ll become a fan favorite and his jersey will be one of the Knights’ top selling items.
Engelland is 35 years old and it doesn’t appear he’ll be playing in the NHL for much longer. However, he’s a Vegas resident and played two seasons with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. While it’s unclear just how much of a role he’ll be playing with the Knights next year, I feel like he could have a bit of a cult following amongst a large portion of the fanbase.
Buying Shipachyov’s jersey could be a bit of a gamble, but it might just be worth the risk. Shipachyov, the second player to sign with the Golden Knights in team history, is set to make his NHL debut next season after a decade-long career in the KHL, arguably the second-best hockey league on the planet. The 30-year-old center is coming off his third straight season averaging over a point per game in Russia and figures to be a dynamic playmaker in the NHL. If he can successfully adjust to the North American game, he could become an eventual All-Star, which certainly classifies as a solid jersey choice.