3 Golden Knights With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off a Stanley Cup victory, and some of the players that were acquired helped them get there. Not a ton has changed over the summer, but there is definitely something to prove for certain players who signed big contracts after their playoff performances and others looking to get a bigger role.

Adin Hill

Adin Hill stepped into the starting role in net early on in the Golden Knights' quest for the Cup and he shut the door. Although he didn't win the Conn Smythe, he was very good in his first playoff games played in his career, posting an 11-4 record with a .932 save percentage, 2.17 goals against average, and two shutouts. It was a step up from his regular season performance and earned him a two-year, $4.9 million AAV deal. With Logan Thompson also in the mix and a lot to prove, Hill will have a lot of pressure to perform, but will also be in a position to succeed.

Ivan Barbashev

The Golden Knights did really well in acquiring Ivan Barbashev at the trade deadline as he fit in very nicely on the top line with Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault as well as stepping up greatly in the playoffs. Until halfway through last season, Barbashev was seen as a good third line player who could perform on the second line. He exceeded expectations on the balanced Vegas team and put up seven goals and 18 points in 22 playoff games. As someone who disappeared in the playoffs in years prior and just signed a big ticket (five-year, $5 million AAV), he will have to continue to live up to it during the regular season and playoffs.

Paul Cotter

With the departure of Reilly Smith, 23-year-old Paul Cotter will get a better look this season, likely on the third line. The former fourth round pick just completed his rookie season and got into 55 games, scoring 13 goals and 18 points. Depending on if the Golden Knights sign anyone else for their second line left wing, Cotter could even get some looks there. For a young and fairly inexperienced player being given the reins to step into a bigger role, he has pressure on him and some big shoes to fill.

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