Phillip Grubauer Can Be the Starter in Vegas.

At 25 years old the German goaltender has already stood out among back up goaltenders in the league, warranting a genuine opportunity with the budding NHL franchise in Vegas.

The Washington goaltender has 66 career regular season games under his belt and has a .923 save percentage. While he does have the reigning presidents trophy winners playing in front of him, Grubauer deserves an opportunity to succeed as a starter. Grubauer, 25, played in 24 games this season finishing with a 13-6-2 record, 2.04 GAA and .926 save percentage.

With Braden Holtby in front of him in the lineup, the likelihood of overtaking the Saskatchewan native is unlikely, unless injury occurs to the current starter. The Capitals should welcome Grubauer’s move to Vegas if they eventually decide to draft him. Their forwards are living on expiring contracts, with the following players needing contracts come July 1st.

 

Brett Connolly (F) RFA 25 $850000 23
Andre Burakovsky (F) RFA 22 $894167 35
Evgeny Kuznetsov (F) RFA 25 $3M 59
Justin Williams (F) UFA 35 $3.25M 48
Daniel Winnik (F) UFA 32 $2.25M 25
T.J. Oshie (F) UFA 30 $4.1M 56
Nate Schmidt (D) RFA 25 $812500 17
Dmitry Orlov (D) RFA 25 $2.5M 33
Karl Alzner (D) UFA 28 $2.8M 13
Kevin Shattenkirk (D) UFA 28 $4.2 56
         

The capitals cannot afford to lose any more depth in the forward or defensive position, even if they sign the majority of their UFA’s. Their dense contracts in Backstrom and Ovie limit their spending ability, making Grubauer a mutually acceptable draft choice. Considering the general manager of the Golden Knights, George McPhee, drafted Grubauer and the team’s goalie coach, David Prior, served as the Caps’ goalie coach from 1997 to 2014, you can understand why Vegas would be interested. He makes little money, is a young player, and wants a starting job. Hes been proven to some degree at the NHL level, warranting attention. Vegas will be a very defensive minded team. Scoring will be a problem immediately, but depth options will be available during the draft at D. This is good news for the young goaltender as he should have some support in front of him.

He could be a potential 3rd goaltender for your squad in fantasy next year. Vegas won’t be the worst team in expansion history, and with significant talent on the back end they can be a threat against other defensive minded teams. Grubauer also had a stellar performance at the World Championships culminating in a game against Canada. He was awarded player of the game with 48 Saves in a 2-1 Loss. His performance stood out against the depth and skill of the Canadians.

His fantasy potential is limited, but he could definitely be under the radar for some fantasy teams. He could be an option as a third goalie on some teams, and will likely emerge as a 20+ win goalie in consecutive years.

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  1. The Las Vegas Golden Knights Will Poach from the New York Rangers. – Fantasy Hockey 2018

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