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31 in 31

Vegas Golden Knights fantasy preview for 2019-20

Theodore breakout candidate with exposure to Stone, Pacioretty, Stastny; Fleury among top five goalie rankings

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Vegas Golden Knights. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

[Golden Knights 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers]

 

Marc-Andre Fleury, G (24) -- The veteran goalie regressed in save percentage (.913 last season in 61 games) with a heavier workload compared to 2017-18 (.927 in 46 games), when he missed time with injuries. But Fleury was among the NHL leaders in wins (35; tied for fifth) and shutouts (eight; second). Fleury, who will turn 35 on Nov. 28, is the clear No. 1 again for the Golden Knights, who should provide even more goal support (3.00 per game; T-13th) with elite right wing Mark Stone for a full season. Fleury is fourth in NHL.com's fantasy goalie rankings.

Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Fleury

 

Mark Stone, RW (55) -- He combined for an NHL career-high 73 points (33 goals, 40 assists) in 77 games last season with the Ottawa Senators and Golden Knights. He then led the entire first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in scoring (12 points in seven games) on Vegas' top line with valuable forwards Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny. With those linemates for a full season, Stone could feasibly eclipse 80 points and build on his best totals in power-play points (20) and shots on goal (199). He's likely attainable outside the top 50 overall and has the ceiling of being a top five fantasy right wing.

 

Max Pacioretty, LW (67) -- The left wing was limited to 66 games because of injury and fell short of fantasy expectations when healthy with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) and eight PPP; he was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens before the start of last season. But Pacioretty's SOG (2.9 per game) and hits (1.8) averages remained strong, and he bounced back in the playoffs (11 points in seven games) on the first line and power play with Stone and Stastny. Pacioretty should be targeted inside the top 75 overall at a scarce position with a chance to shatter his previous career high in points (67 twice) with by far the best linemates of his career over a full season.

Video: 31 in 31: Vegas Golden Knights 2019-20 season preview

 

Jonathan Marchessault, C/LW (74) -- The duo of Marchessault (75 points to 59) and center William Karlsson (78 to 56) regressed after each had a breakout season in 2017-18. But unlike Karlsson, who dipped from 43 goals in 2017-18 to 24 last season, Marchessault only scored two fewer goals (27 to 25) and had strong SOG (278) and hits (98) totals. With line stability, dual eligibility and less pressure behind Vegas' new top line, Marchessault should bounce back for 60-65 points and finish among the top 75 overall fantasy players.

 

Shea Theodore, D (123) -- He had NHL career highs in points (37), SOG (202) and tied his previous best in PPP (nine) last regular season before an impressive postseason (eight points, four PPP in seven games) on PP1 with Stone, Pacioretty, Stastny and right wing Alex Tuch. Especially after the Golden Knights traded defenseman Colin Miller (13 PPP in 65 games) to the Buffalo Sabres, Theodore is a breakout candidate who should lead Vegas defensemen with at least 45 points and 20 PPP.

 

Paul Stastny, C (132) -- The 33-year-old center was another playoff standout from the Golden Knights, who lost in seven games to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round; Stastny had eight points (three on power play) in the series with frequent exposure to Stone, Pacioretty and Theodore. Stastny, who was close to a point-per-game player when healthy last season (42 in 50 games), is ranked just ahead of Karlsson because the former has superior linemates. Stastny has a ceiling of returning to the 70-point range for the first time since 2009-10 (NHL career-high 79 with Colorado Avalanche).

 

Other players to consider in late rounds or off waiver wire: William Karlsson, C, VGK (161); Reilly Smith, RW (164); Nate Schmidt, D (245); Alex Tuch, RW; Cody Glass, C

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