The Vegas Golden Knights acquired Brett Houdin from the New York Rangers on July 17, 2021. The previous first round pick didn’t make his move with the Rangers resulting in his off-season presence. The knights pounced and took him.
Honestly, the Rangers don’t seem to be doing a great job producing their top-tier picks which makes Howden’s downfall understandable. I mean take a look at Capo Kaku and Alexis Lavrinier, they weren’t the guys we thought they would be. But we went off the right track.
Howden has been one of the most underrated Golden Knights this season, but we hope we can shed some light on him in this article. he deserves it.
Howden has been a healthy scratcher at times this season, but he was also Pete DeBoer’s number one choice to replace Chandler Stephenson as the number one after Stephenson was knocked out due to COVID. Although this was a short-lived experience, he didn’t start making progress until recently.
Howden was obtained to help fill in the depth to which the Knights were sorely lacking. Nor was he the only one they brought in this season.
The Golden Knights had just lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs and knew adding depth would be necessary. Knowing that they brought not only Brett Houdin, but also Nolan Patrick and Evgeny Dadonov. Not to mention the re-signs of Matthias Janmark and Alec Martinez.
Then fast forward to today, not only did the Golden Knights have all of these names, but they also got Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabers. In doing so, they gave up Peyton Cripps and Alex Tooch and a first-round pick.
Now they are in a very good position to compete for the Stanley Cup. But that’s not necessarily because of their stars as much as their depth.
When you take a look at the Golden Knights roster, you’ll see that between Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, William Karlsson, Zach Whitecloud and Nolan Patrick, they all lost a significant number of matches through injury. However, in saying that it is important to mention some of the names that have advanced significantly.
With players like Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Keegan Kolesar, Dylan Coghlan and Ben Hutton up and running well, it helped keep the Knights at a point where they could be considered contenders for the Stanley Cup. I mean, yeah they lost the games. However, they also had a few really good winning streaks.
But even as these guys play well, it’s important to mention how well players like Brett Houdin and Nicholas Roy have played. I mean, they both stepped up in much needed ways. However, what Brett Houdin has done over the past month or two is incredible.
Brett Houdin in general is the fourth man’s line, otherwise known as the “check line.” They are your mills who play hard on the boards and in the game of check. However, Brett Howden somehow found a way to not only produce but produce at a very high level.
Since January, he has played in 15 matches with the Golden Knights. In those 15 games, Howden scored five goals, and five assists, for a total of 10 points. Additionally, he has +/- +3, has short range assist, and his average time on the ice is 11:25.
Assuming he plays the remainder of the 2021-22 season, Hoden will surpass his career totals and potentially cement his place as an NHLer player in the league.
Howden has league experience, although he wasn’t really given a fair chance until this year, the Golden Knights could get a gem in Howden. After all, he is only 23 years old.
I mean, his career trajectory could eventually put him as one of the top six strikers for the Knights if he had the chance as well. But in the meantime, I think he will play a productive central role in the fourth line.
With all the injuries the Golden Knight had to deal with, there were many different line combinations. We’ve seen the fourth streak create some very good opportunities in the past and there is a growing chemistry between Howden, Kolesar, Patrick and Amadeo which could allow the fourth streak to become more productive in the future.
Brett Houdin has found a way to make himself “unfit”, as two NHL teams abandoned him before he turned 24.
He’s eligible to referee in the off-season, I suppose Kelly McCremon would choose to retain Howden for the foreseeable future. The offense he made despite his limited time on the fourth line almost became his next contract with the Golden Knights.