(Photo by Unknown)

Las Vegas–Today we continue our series with the final grades as we take a look at the bottom six forwards for the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.

The last two days we issued out our final grades for both the top and second lines of the Golden Knights and what they received from us were very good results.

Grades for the top line can be found here.

Grades for the second line can be found by heading to this page.

Over the course of the regular season, the Golden Knights bottom six forward group saw some changes to how they looked from the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign to all the way to Stanley Cup Finals.

Below is our analysis of the those bottom six forwards.

Brendan Leipsic

Previous Team: 2016-17 AHL-Toronto Marlies (18 goals, 33 assists for 51 points and was a +4 thru 49 games)

While Leipsic was with the Golden Knights during the mid term break he played in 33 games and produced one goal, 11 assists for 12 points and was+3. This was okay considering that this was the first time in his professional playing career at getting the opportunity to play in the NHL at a semi consistent basis.

After that, Leipsic played in just 11 more games with the Golden Knights and saw little to no improvement in his production with the team. Before he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for Philip Holm he scored a total of two goals, 11 assists for 13 points and was -1 as well as received an average ice time of 11:56.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

What happened with Leipsic was the result of basically falling out of favor with the team and caused them to look elsewhere for an upgrade in their depth at the forward position and they found it by claiming forward Ryan Carpenter via to the waiver wire from the San Jose Sharks.

Grade: C+

Ryan Carpenter

Previous Team: 2016-17 San Jose Sharks (2 goals, 2 assist for 4 points and was a +5 thru 11 games)

Before the Golden Knights grabbed Carpenter via the waiver from the San Jose Sharks he skated in 16 games with them and scored just one time and had one point to his credit which included a plus/minus rating of +1.

In the 36 games he played as a member of the Golden Knights bottom six during the regular season, Carpenter had a very successful stint with his new teammates and it showed. He ended up putting the puck in the back of the net a total of nine times, added five assists for 14 points and was even in the plus/minus.

At 6’0″ 200 pounds the Golden Knights scored a huge win in the waiver claim category when they grabbed Carpenter from San Jose and made them a much deeper team.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

For the first time in his short NHL career Carpenter had the chance to play in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Golden Knights and during their run to the finals against the Washington Capitals.

He pitched in with five assists, a plus/minus rating of +5, and logged an average of 14:01 in ice time.

Moving forward, Carpenter’s development as an NHL player should continue to show signs of improvement as he will be participating in his first ever Golden Knights training camp this coming September.

Grade: A

Cody Eakin

Previous Team: 2016-17 Dallas Stars (3 goals, 9 assists for 12 points and was a -7 with 60 games played)

Thru 41 games, Eakin recorded six goals, added 12 assists for 18 points and was a -2 which was a major improvement in his offensive production that he made compared to his last years numbers with the Dallas Stars.

At the end of the regular season, Eakin nearly doubled up in goals with 11, finished with 16 assists for 27 points, and a -6 thru 80 games. These were not career highs for him but he did have a decent first regular season with Vegas.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In the 20 games he appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Vegas, Eakin scored three times, added an assist for four points and finished with a +3. His three goals in the postseason was a career best for him. In addition to that he logged an average of 14:29 in ice time.

Overall, Eakin had an above average first season with the Golden Knights and would probably want for himself to improve his game in the next season and he will have that opportunity to do so in the upcoming training camp.

Grade: B

Alex Tuch

Previous Team: 2016-17 Iowa/Minnesota Wild (18 goals, 19 assists for 37 points and was a +7 thru 63 combined games between the two clubs)

In his first NHL campaign with the Golden Knights, Tuch had nine goals, pitched in with 12 assists for 21 points at the mid term break which were both career high numbers for him in each category.

When the regular season ended, Tuch scored a total of 15 goals, 22 assists for 37 points and finished with a +3 thru 78 games played.

Not a bad for a break out season in the NHL for the former first round pick of the Minnesota Wild.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

During the Golden Knights Stanley Cup Playoff run to the finals Tuch scored six goals, pitched in with four assists for 10 points and an even in the plus/minus. In addition, he logged an of 15:46 in ice time.

This past season was an incredible one for Tuch as he had the opportunity in moving up and down in their lineup which gave Vegas a different look when doing that.

With so much potential in his game moving forward it will be interesting to see how much better Tuch can be in the 2018-19 season with the Golden Knights.

Grade: A+

Tomas Nosek

Previous Team: 2016-17 Grand Rapid Griffins/Detroit Red Wings (16 goals, 26 assists for 42 points and was +3 thru 63 games combined between the two clubs)

At the mid term break, Nosek had already scored three goals this season with the Golden Knights, he also pitched in with five assists for 8 points and was a +6. With that, these were all career highs for the former Detroit Red Wing forward.

He would go on and finish out the regular season with seven goals, eight assists for 15 points and a plus/minus of +6 in 67 games played.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

The 17 games he appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nosek scored four goals, recorded two assists for six points and finished with a +5. He would also logged an average of 11:35 in ice time during the Golden Knights run to the finals.

With basically a break out season as a member of the Golden Knights bottom six this past year Nosek did really well considering that this was the most playing time he had in his short NHL career.

Recently Nosek avoided going thru with his salary arbitration hearing when he inked his new one year contract with Vegas.

Heading into the upcoming season, Nosek should continue at improving his overall game as well as playing under the steady leadership of Bellemare.

Grade: A

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Previous Team: 2016-17 Philadelphia Flyers (4 goals, 4 assists for 8 points and was a -1 thru 82 games)

Bellemare had four goals at the halfway point of the regular season which included at that time two assists for six points, basically almost matching the totals he put together from the prior campaign as a member of the Flyers organization.

At the conclusion of the regular season, Bellemare scored six goals, recorded 10 assists for 16 points and was a +5. Not bad at all considering this is around his usual production totals from years prior.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bellemare pitched in with three assists over the course of 20 games. His three assists were his career best in the postseason. In addition, he logged an average of 11:47 in ice time for Vegas during their run to the finals.

Bellemare’s steady leadership will once again be something to look at in the upcoming season for the Golden Knights as he continues to mentor the younger players on the team.

Grade: A

William Carrier

Previous Team: 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres (5 goals, 3 assists for 8 points and was a -1 thru 41 games)

Carrier missed a good portion of the Golden Knights first half of the season with an upper body injury (16 games of being out of commission) which greatly impacted his contributions to the team.

In those 23 games he did play in, he produced one goal, one assist for two points at the mid season break.

The injury bug would come back to bite him once again in the second half of the regular season where he missed 27 games with another upper body injury. He only managed to play in 14 more regular season games and his end of season totals in goals and assists did not change.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In the playoffs, Carrier only played in 10 games for the Golden Knights and produced zero goals and zero assists. His ice time average over those 10 games was 7:55.

If Carrier did not miss a total of 43 games in the regular season for the Golden Knights last year, his overall production would have been much higher and if he stays healthy in the upcoming campaign he might do much better.

On a good note, yesterday Carrier signed a new two year deal to stay on with the Golden Knights so that alone should help motivate him moving forward.

Grade: C+

Oscar Lindberg

Previous Team: 2016-17 New York Rangers (8 goals, 12 assists for 20 points and was a +2 thru 65 games)

At the halfway point of the regular season had seven goals, pitched in one assist thru 38 games played and was a -7. His performance at the mid season break overall was behind the numbers he put together from the previous campaign with the Rangers.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In the second half of the season was a bit of a struggle for Lindberg as it appeared he hit a slump and not to mention missing 14 games greatly impacted his end of season results. He only added two more goals, one more assist that brought his totals to nine goals, two assists for 11 points and finished out with a -11.

During the playoffs, Lindberg played in only three games where he recorded a single assist for one point and logged an average of 11:17 in ice time.

Given his past playoff performance Lindberg has not had much success so his numbers this postseason were a reflection of that.

It will be interesting to see moving forward where exactly Lindberg falls inside the Golden Knights bottom six in the upcoming season so it will be something to look at.

Grade: C+/B-

Notable Trade Acquisitions At The 2018 Deadline

Ryan Reaves

Before being acquired by the Golden Knights on February 23, 2018 Reaves had four goals, four assists for eight points and a -9 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins with 58 games under his belt.

After the trade pick up, Reaves added two more assists in 21 games that brought his end of season totals to four goals, six assists for 10 points and slightly improved his plus/minus rating at -7.

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In just 10 total playoff games with the Golden Knights he recorded two goals which became a career best for him and his plus/minus of +4 was also his best showing in the postseason. He would also log an average of 8:13 in ice time over those 10 games.

Given his split time between Pittsburgh and Vegas, Reaves had an okay season with both clubs.

He also signed a new two year deal with the Golden Knights during the offseason and that alone could positively influence his game and overall outlook going forward.

Grade: C+

Tomas Tatar

Prior to GMGM trading for Tatar on February 26, 2018 he was having himself another great season with the Detroit Red Wings. Tatar scored 16 goals, pitched in with 12 assists for 26 points playing as a member of their top 6 forward group. In addition that, his plus/minus was not great at a -8.

During the 20 games after being traded to Vegas, Tatar spent time all over the place throughout the lineup which affected his overall production. He only scored four times, added two assists that brought his end of season totals to 20 goals, 14 assists and plus/minus of -19

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(Table by PuckPedia.com)

In only eight games played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tatar scored just one goal and recorded one assist for two points and was a +1. In addition, he logged an average of 12:25 in time on ice during that span.

With his time split over the course of last season between the Red Wings and Golden Knights Tatar did failry well as this was the fourth time in his NHL career to reach the 20 goal plateau.

Heading into the next season Tatar should have another good year with a full Golden Knights training camp under him.

Grade: B

Moving forward the bottom six overall will have much different look going into the 2018-19 season. They also added forward Daniel Carr this past offseason thru the free agent market.

The next piece in our final grade series will be on the Golden Knights defenseman.

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