The Vegas Golden Knights are already gearing up for the 2021 NHL season. Since the previous NHL season ended, the team has resigned, traded, and drafted players. The Golden Knights are also getting ready to sign free agents. All of these players will become the future of the NHL’s team in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights betting odds continue to improve as the executive staff gets the team ready for another run at the Stanley Cup.
Vegas Golden Knights still outright favorites to take home the 2021 Stanley Cup
In the early going of the offseason, the odds on Vegas Golden Knights winning the 2021 Stanley Cup haven’t changed much at Nevada sportsbooks. The Golden Knights remain the favorites to win the pro hockey championship at STN Sports and William Hill with odds of +550 and +600, respectively.
The one major change in Stanley Cup championship odds in Nevada is with Boyd Gaming’s B-Connected Sports app where the Golden Knights moved from +950 to +600.
The Golden Knights are now the outright favorite with Boyd Gaming ahead of the reigning champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights resigning players
The Vegas Golden Knights started the offseason by resigning two key players. First, the team signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a five-year contract extension. The deal is worth an average annual value of $5 million.
Lehner won his three regular-season games with Vegas acquired by Vegas in February. He finished the regular season with 1.67 goals against average (GAA) and a .940 save percentage. He had one regular-season shutout.
Lehner also started 16 games for the Golden Knights during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. On a related note, starting goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury is still with the team. That could change if rumors are true.
The Golden Knights also signed Chandler Stephenson to a four-year, $11 million contract. The deal has an average annual value of $2.75 million against the salary cap. Stephenson could have become a restricted free agent.
Stephenson was acquired from the Washington Capitals this season. He scored 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 65 games with both teams.
Drafting players for the future
The NHL Entry Draft took place this week. Players selected in the draft this year shouldn’t have much if any impact on the team right away.
The Golden Knights chose forward Brendan Brisson with their first-round (29th overall) draft pick. Unlike some other first-round selections, this is a draft pick for the future of the franchise. Brisson plans on playing the 2020-21 season for the University of Michigan.
The Golden Knights didn’t have a second-round draft pick this year. The team traded that pick to the Chicago Blackhawks to the recently re-signed Robin Lehner.
Here are the other players drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights this year:
- 3rd Round (Pick 68) – Lukas Cormier, Defenseman
- 3rd Round (Pick 91) – Jackson Hallum, Forward
- 5th Round (Pick 125) – Jesper Vikman, Goaltender
- 6th Round (Pick 184) – Noah Ellis, Defenseman
- 7th Round (Pick 215) – Maxim Marushev, Forward
NHL preparing to begin next season on Jan. 1, 2021
This wasn’t only a newsworthy week for the Golden Knights. NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced that the league is aiming to start next season on Jan. 1, 2021. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is just a target date. The league and players association previously announced Dec. 1 as the target date to start the next NHL season.