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Vegas Golden Knights Re-Sign Pavel Dorofeyev
Vegas Golden Knights Re-Sign Pavel Dorofeyev

The Vegas Golden Knights have re-signed forward Pavel Dorofeyev to a one-year, $825k AAV contract. Vegas also re-signed RFA forward Brett Howden earlier several hours ago, meaning the club’s front office has today concluded all of its outstanding business with restricted free agents.

Dorofeyev, 22, is a Russian winger who was drafted 79th overall by the Golden Knights at the 2019 draft. Dorofeyev was a divisive draft prospect, as he was NHL Central Scouting’s 12th-ranked European skater but was ranked 82nd in Bob McKenzie’s draft ranking for TSN.

Seeing as fewer members of a team’s front office or scouting staff are typically able to see Russian prospects in person compared to, say, an OHLer, it’s not exactly a surprise that there was this divide with Dorofeyev.

So far, it’s fair to say that Dorofeyev has outperformed his middle-of-the-third-round draft slot.

After he was selected by Vegas, Dorofeyev spent an additional season in the KHL, scoring seven points in 48 games with limited ice time for Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

After that year, he crossed the Atlantic and played 24 games in the AHL for the Henderson Silver Knights, scoring 13 points.

In 2021-22, Dorofeyev’s adjustment to the smaller North American ice surfaces became more permanent, and he truly excelled for Henderson. Dorofeyev led the Silver Knights in scoring with 27 goals and 53 points in 63 games, scoring 11 points more than the next-highest scorer. It was that year that Dorofeyev earned his first NHL games, skating in two with Vegas.

This past season, Dorofeyev stood a decent chance of making the Golden Knights out of camp, but ultimately was sent to the AHL. Vegas didn’t have an opening on a scoring line and preferred the more versatile skillset Paul Cotter offered to their bottom-six forward group. Dorofeyev wasn’t as productive in the AHL, but thanks to injuries he earned his first extended NHL call-up in March and really impressed.

Dorofeyev began his call-up by scoring seven points in his first seven games. While his production cooled off a little after that, he still had his moments. His two-goal performance against the Minnesota Wild included a crucial game-tying marker and helped Vegas earn two points. In total, he finished with seven goals and nine points in 18 games, suggesting he could be capable of playing as an NHL regular next season.

Dorofeyev no longer has Reilly Smith or Phil Kessel to compete with for a role on one of Vegas’ scoring lines, and he may battle with today’s other signing, Howden, for a spot next to Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson.

Should he earn a role there, expect Dorofeyev to be a real breakout candidate to watch for next season. At the $825k cap hit secured by this contract signing, Dorofeyev could provide real surplus value to the Golden Knights.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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