Another arbitration-eligible player has returned to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Tomas Nosek has re-upped for a one-year, $962,500 deal, which keeps his arbitration-eligible restricted free agent rights intact for the following offseason.
The 25-year-old fourth-liner was one of Vegas’ most pleasant surprises this season, as his selection in last June’s expansion draft prompted a “who?” from many onlookers (your humble author included). The pick was especially surprising considering that the Detroit Red Wings left Petr Mrazek, Riley Sheahan and Xavier Ouellet unprotected as well.
General manager George McPhee and his team saw something most of us didn’t, and grabbed the Czech Republic native, a player who was coming off an excellent Calder Cup run in which he tallied 10-12—22 in 19 games en route to a Grand Rapids Griffins victory.
Nosek’s low price tag allows the Knights to continue to be aggressive in the offseason if they so choose to be. A player of Nosek’s caliber is likely worth more than his contract states, but given his RFA status and lack of name recognition around the league, it would have been surprising to see him net over $1 million on this contract.
As fourth-line/depth signings go, this is one of the better ones a team can make. Others, well...
But this is about Nosek. The former Red Wing was one of just six skaters on the Golden Knights to tally at least four goals in this year’s playoff run, a run that served as a prime example of the player Nosek became following a winter injury.
Across 43 games from Feb. 13 until the end of the postseason, Nosek posted 8-5—13, numbers that would loosely project to 15 goals and 9-10 assists across a full season.
Much of his success going forward will rest on his linemates. Playing with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Reaves may put a cap on Nosek’s output, but given holes in the lineup following David Perron and James Neal’s departures, it would not be out of the question to see Nosek get a look on the third line.
Regardless of where he plays in the Vegas lineup, Nosek will likely be a solid, if unspectacular performer; a high-end fourth-liner and above-average penalty killer.
With Nosek re-signed, all eyes turn to the big fish in the Vegas arb-eligible RFA pond: William “Wild Bill” Karlsson.