While there are several good stories for the Vegas Golden Knights this season, one that jumps out as of late is that of Pavel Dorofeyev.
After being called up in late December but going pointless in three games, the 22-year-old Russian forward was re-assigned to the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League (AHL). While he could have complained and taken it personally, he instead went back down and continued to work on his craft, and it is paying off in a big way.
Dorofeyev was given another opportunity when recalled in early March, and he is making the most of it. He has recorded points in five of seven games since rejoining the Golden Knights, and has five goals and seven points over that span. Things really seem to be clicking for him right now, and head coach Bruce Cassidy has taken note.
“He’s earned the right to play every night,” Cassidy said. “I just think (Dorofeyev) has been a real good fit, so why mess with it until he shows us he can’t play.”
“He’s good defensively, he’s bought in to how we want to play. In his own zone, his dot line coverage is excellent, his slot help is excellent, he’s got a good stick. So yeah, it’s more than just the scoring. He’s been a good fit for where we lack on the power play, which leads to scoring, obviously. I think he’s complemented (William Karlsson) and (Reilly Smith) well in terms of they can play against anybody because they’re all good cerebral defensive players. That’s where probably the biggest surprise is, because you don’t know that until the guy’s thrown in there. He’s done a really good job with that.”
While the scoring may cool off as the season progresses, the fact that Dorofeyev can offer help in other areas that Cassidy alluded to could bode well for him remaining with the Golden Knights for the remainder of the season. Coming into the final year of his entry-level contract, his current play could help him earn an extension from the Golden Knights this offseason. For now, however, he is simply focused on helping his team win games, and so far he has done just that.
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