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A Landlubber’s Guide to the Vegas Golden Knights

Quick need-to-know info for the NHL newbie

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Vegas Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

First up, our very first official opponents: the Vegas Golden Knights.

Are they any good?

The Vegas Golden Knights are VERY good. They came out swinging in 2017 and haven’t really slowed down since. The Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season of existence. This team is not to be underestimated.

The Golden Knights are also a new expansion team, established in 2017. So you know the Seattle Kraken’s performance in our inaugural year will always be compared to theirs.

They’re like our overachieving older brothers.

How annoying.

Who should you look out for?

First of all, make sure to go read Emily Rupp’s excellent pregame article where they talk about Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo, two top players on the Golden Knights’ roster.

I’ll cover off on some players I’m excited to watch this season, for one reason or another.

  • Robin Lehner (Goalie) - Lehner is the Golden Knight’s undisputed starting goaltender this year. He’s also unusually outspoken, especially for a hockey player. Hockey culture doesn’t exactly encourage making waves. Lehner is a fervent advocate for mental health and knelt with Ryan Reaves in support of Black Lives Matter. Definitely an interesting player to watch.
  • Nolan Patrick (Center) - Nolan Patrick, the former future of the Philadelphia Flyers. They drafted him second overall in 2017 but Patrick’s been plagued with persistent health issues and a diagnosed migraine disorder ever since. But he’s got a ton of talent and potential. He’s making a fresh start in Vegas. I’m excited to see how this season will go for him.
  • The Misfit Line (Forwards) - Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith form the Misfit Line, original “misfits” discarded from their original teams during Vegas’ expansion draft. They’re consistent offensive producers for the Knights... and OGs who have been there since the beginning.

Any Seattle ties?

  • Keegan Kolesar - Kolesar played for Seattle Thunderbirds from 2013 to 2017, winning the WHL championship as Alternate Captain with the Thunderbirds in his last year. Now he’s becoming a mainstay on the Golden Knights roster as he develops in the NHL. He already has a goal and a fight under his belt in the pre-season.

Odds and Ends

  • The Kraken didn’t steal any players from the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2021 expansion draft.
  • Vegas traded away their previous number one goaltender (and all around perfect cinnamon roll) Marc-André Fleury during the offseason. Originally taken in Vegas’ expansion draft, he was called the heart and soul of the team. Now he’s with Chicago.
  • As you might see during their pre-game show, they really lean into this Medieval Times LARPing aesthetic.