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Former teammates scout Golden Knights

Familiar foes supply skinny on members of NHL's newest team @NHLdotcom

The Vegas Golden Knights have chosen their initial roster, conducted their first NHL Draft and held their first training camp. But we still don't know what to expect when NHL's 31st team takes the ice for its inaugural game at the Dallas Stars on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-SW, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV).

Fortunately, the Golden Knights' former teammates can lend a hand. After all, who better to offer perspective on the players who will represent Vegas than the players who know them best?

Here's a sampling of what to look for from the Golden Knights this season, as seen through the eyes of players who knew them as teammates:


William Carrier, forward

"He plays hard. Every time he goes out there, he's full speed ahead and he disrupts a lot, whether it be backchecking, forechecking. He's pretty physical. He's not afraid to stick his nose in there. He plays a real hard game, and I think he's going to add a good element to the team."

-- Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel


Cody Eakin, center

"He's a tough competitor. He works hard. He's a great two-way player; can put the puck in the net but can also be a reliable defensive player for your team. He's good in all areas. He plays in all situations. And he's a heck of a guy off the ice. He's great to have in the room, and everybody needs a redhead on their team."

-- Dallas Stars center Jamie Benn

Video: LAK@VGK: Eakin blasts one-timer past Campbell


Deryk Engelland, defenseman

"He's a gritty guy. He works hard. He's tough to play against. He likes to get his nose buried in the corner. He's a great role player. He was a great player for us. It's unfortunate to see him go because he's a great teammate as well and a really good guy to have in the locker room. You hate to see those guys leave, but I think Vegas has a real good player coming to them."

-- Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau


Marc-Andre Fleury, goaltender

"His athleticism is what makes him so good; his quickness, his speed. Not only does that help him make saves, but when he's making those big-time athletic saves, I think that gives the team a boost as well, even if it's just a mental boost that, 'Hey, we have a real athlete back there who's going to make saves for us.' I know that's how we felt whenever he made a save like that. … I'm sure it is not easy starting a season with all these guys that you're really meeting for the first time, so to have a guy like [Fleury] around is going to be invaluable to them."

-- Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray

Video: SJS@VGK: Fleury gets across for terrific blocker save


Jason Garrison, defenseman

"Smart, simple D. A guy who reads pucks. Blocks shots. Pretty steady, very big guy. Definitely going to be a good defensive leader on that team, and he's a great guy off the ice. Quiet and does his own thing, but nice to be around."

-- Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin, teammate with Tampa Bay Lightning


Erik Haula, forward

"I think he's really a good all-around player. He can defend, and he can do some damage offensively too. He's a great player all around, and I really wish him the best. I think he's going to bring a lot to the team. … [His speed] is huge. It's tough to beat a guy defensively who's such a good skater. You really can't beat him. And then offensively he can make stuff happen because of his speed. He's a smart player so I think he's going to be good there and hopefully … get a real good chance."

-- Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund

Video: SJS@VGK: Haula finishes breakaway to open scoring


William Karlsson, center

"Smart centerman. I think he really does think the game well. He was a major part of our team penalty-kill wise. When we had an injury, he would play power play for us; pretty good half-wall player, actually. I think he has more skill than he thinks he has, in my opinion. I think he's a great player. He's going to do a great job there for them. He took a lot of big draws for us last year as well."

-- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones


Oscar Lindberg, forward

"He's a very smart player, pretty similar I would say to like a Derek Stepan as far as kind of knowing where he should be at on the ice to get the puck or where the puck might be, and very defensively responsible too, which is obviously nice to have out there on the ice when you're a defenseman. He's a guy who has an underrated shot, very accurate, very hard. Really just kept it simple last year and it was effective for him. He didn't try to beat guys when it was just him against a couple of defensemen. He really utilized his wingers well and just plays a real smart game, so it allows him to be effective in a lot of areas."

-- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh

Video: VGK@COL: Lindberg finishes beautiful pass from Hyka


Jonathan Marchessault, center

"I played one year with him. We all know he's a shooter. He scored 30 goals. Really, nobody expected it, but I think he's just a great shooter. He skates real well. He's just an offensive threat. On the power play, he has a huge one-timer and he always hurts the other team. He's just an offensive guy. He can play defensively as well."

-- Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau


Brayden McNabb, defenseman

"I played with him for a long time. He's a big body. He's going to crash and bang. One of the things that is really underrated about him is he can make a lot of really good plays, especially in the D-zone. He's got a good shot. A defensive defenseman, but he can make plays at the other end too. That was a bummer when they took him and that hurt us as a hockey club."

-- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez


James Neal, forward

"He scored so many important goals for us last year. His wrist shot is one of the best in the League. He gets it off quickly, and I think that's his biggest strength."

-- Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm3: Neal banks puck in off Murray's glove


Tomas Nosek, forward

"[Nosek is] a hard-working centerman. I think he doesn't get enough credit for how skilled he is. He's a guy that didn't get much of a chance in Detroit, but I think he was going to make our team [this season] and he made our team better. He played in [11] games for us last year, and he definitely made our team better through his work ethic and his great defensive play, but also when he got the puck he was a threat, and he just worked really hard all over the ice."

-- Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin


David Perron, forward

"He's an experienced player. He's played in the League for a while now. He can play in every situation. To have a veteran guy to play at the level that he can play and to play in all situations is going to help them. He's excited to be there. You have a group of guys who were just put together; some are familiar with each other, some are not. He's a guy who's going to bring that energy for them night in, night out. He's going to make that transition for that organization easier."

-- St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo


Griffin Reinhart, defenseman

"Vegas is getting a young D man that skates well. He's a guy that was a very high prospect. I think he's still trying to find his way through it all. He's had some good stints with us. He played a few games last season, especially late in the season. Vegas is getting a very good player."

-- Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid

Video: EDM@VAN: Reinhart beats Demko up high


Luca Sbisa, defenseman

"[Sbisa] is an awesome guy. He's a great friend of mine. He's a solid defenseman, very good skater, very strong. He moves the puck well. He's going to be a great addition to that team. I played with him all year last year. We had some good chemistry and whoever he's playing with, he's definitely going to help out."

-- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev


Nate Schmidt, defenseman

"They're going to love him there. He's going to be one of those guys who can be a face that connects the team with the fans. You see what he did in Washington. As a player, his skating ability and vision of the ice, he wasn't used as much because we had such good defensemen in Washington, but if he gets that chance to play power-play minutes and all that, he's going to be exciting to watch, because the guy can skate."

-- Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby

Video: MIN@WSH: Schmidt nets feed that redirects in


Reilly Smith, forward

"He's more a two-way player. He was playing penalty kill with us, power play, mostly everything. He had a really good season two years ago. He had a lot of points and he was first or second PK. He's a two-way player. You want to have him in every situation. He's a great offensive guy, but he's really good defensively as well."

-- Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau


Shea Theodore, defenseman

"He's a tremendous player. He's got a lot of talent. A guy like that, going to a team like that, a new team, it's exciting. I know he's going to go in there and do well and exceed everything that they expect. Shia's going to be a big part of that team, so I'm excited for him. His skating, I feel like it's off the charts. The way he plays, he plays quick and very … in-tune to the game. He's very dangerous in using skating on the way [to the net]. He's a big body and uses his stick defensively. He's got a very quick shot. He can get that to the net, so look out for that once the season starts."

-- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour

Video: COL@VGK: Theodore buries long-range wrist shot

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