Call Me Crazy, But… –

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Everyone loves a good hot take, so I’m here to provide a few using a format I’m borrowing from NFL Network’s Fantasy Live show. First, I’ll give my four predictions, then I’ll share some of the best ones we got from our Discord server. Then I want to see some of you all in the comments.

Call me crazy, but Keegan Kolesar will score more goals than Phil Kessel this season

Despite converting at a dismal 7.4% shooting rate, Kolesar still found a way to score seven goals in his 77 appearances for the Golden Knights last year. He was constantly around the net and repeatedly showed he had the knack for scoring tough goals. At some point, the floodgates will open for him and he will start scoring at a much more “normal” rate for NHL players. That would mean somewhere closer to 10%. Honestly, I’d be a little surprised if Kolesar didn’t hit double digits this year and 15 or more isn’t out of the question.

Which brings us to the other side of the coin, Kessel. This is mostly about the situation I expect him to find himself in as the season progresses. I just can’t see a 36-year-old suddenly committing to defense which will result in fewer minutes for a team trying to win games. He’ll probably end up struggling to reach 10 mins and nights and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he pulls out of training once in a while after breaking the ironman record. His overshoot will still be there, so I suspect he can reach 30-40 points, which Kolesar can’t, but the goal score isn’t going to jump as much as many think.

Call me crazy, but William Karlsson will lead all Golden Knights forward in time on the ice

Chandler Stephenson won the crown a year ago, largely due to his health, but the return to form of Jack Eichel and Mark Stone are expected to see them log the most minutes. I suspect Karlsson will earn Cassidy’s trust incredibly quickly with his elite backchecking and shorthandedness. He will also likely be part of the No. 1 power-play unit, which will also see him sharing the ice with Stone and Eichel.

Karlsson led the forwards the first two seasons, but never topped the group on a per-game basis. The prediction is in total time on the ice because his durability helps, but I could also see him reaching a career high in average TOI.

Call me crazy, but VGK defenders will score under 30 goals combined

Yes, that’s right, a unit including Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Nic Hague (hopefully), Alec Martinez, Zach Whitecloud and Brayden McNabb will barely score a goal every three games. Cassidy’s system really emphasizes the importance of allowing forwards to dictate action in the offensive zone and the style of play in the defensive zone will also limit offensive transition opportunities.

This one isn’t health related either, as I expect a group of in-form blue liners to survive the entire season. Pete DeBoer’s whole goal was to showcase this group and take advantage of their attacking talents and they did that to the tune of 51 goals a season ago. There will be a dip, I expect it will be steep.

Call me crazy, but Kaedan Korczak will carve out a permanent starting spot by the end of the season

As I mentioned in the previous prediction, I don’t think the Golden Knights defensive corps will be as fucked up as they were a year ago, but that doesn’t mean they all play 82 games. Currently, the first player if one of the regular starters misses (or resists) is Ben Hutton. I expect that to change, and maybe as soon as opening night.

Korczak is made for Bruce Cassidy’s style of play and eventually will want to start the process to see him grow as an NHL player. At the end of the season, he will occupy one of the current six spots, which will allow the Golden Knights to take a step this offseason to free up a little more cap.

We asked members of our Discord community to share some of their bold predictions. Here are some of the spicier ones.

Call me crazy, but Jack Eichel will have 20 goals by the end of November.

Chamoua 2
Call me crazy, but Logan Thompson won’t be the starter or 1B by the end of October.

Call me crazy, but Phil Kessel will win the Conn Smythe.

Call me crazy, but Bruce Cassidy won’t be the power play fix Vegas was hoping for.

Call me crazy, but VGK hits 100 points and still misses the playoffs.

Call me crazy, but five Pacific teams are making the playoffs this season.

Jennsen (Nick)
Call me crazy, but a former Misfit will be traded at the deadline and he’ll be the key player that takes them to the Cup in 6.

Call me crazy, but Shea Weber is healthy enough to play this year.

Call me crazy but the vgk will have 10 players who each play 80 games.

Jack Manning
Call me crazy, but 2 players under 24 on the Golden Knights are going to have 50-point seasons.

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