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2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Who has been Vegas Golden Knight's most valuable player, not named Marc-Andre Fleury?

Vegas Golden Knights has made it to the Stanley Cup final in its initial season, much to the shock in the hockey world. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury has been an important ingredient to that success and is the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of playoffs at this time. But what about the players in front of him?

Who has been the most valuable knight, not named Marc-Andre Fleury?

Emily Kaplan, National NHL Reporter: I'm joining ] Jonathan Marchessault . Not only does he lead Golden Knights in goal (eight) and others in assists (10) produce in a rather impressive 1.2 points per game rate – but that is my leading argument. Marchessault has also come into his own when it comes to bravado, bending a trust that exemplifies these Golden Misfits. Keep in mind that after the game Winnipeg Jets game 1

, Marchessault stood by his locker and said coolly: "Next match, no excuses. Everyone must come and be ready to play our best game in the playoff." What kind of team we are. "

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So what did Marchessault do? He scored two goals and had eight shots on goal in a 3-1-win that strained this four-winning winning stretch to close the jets. It's fun to see Marchessault flourish, like a guy who used to drive a Hyundai to NHL training camp and now a ridiculous cool Lamborghini has released home on playing days to drive to the arena. Actually, the entire top line – William Karlsson, Marchessault and Reilly Smith – have been fantastic these matches, combining for 15 points, seven goals (half of Golden Knight's goals in the series against Winnipeg).

Chris Peters, hockey prospects writer: So many of these players deserve credit for what's happening, but those of us in the media have written a lot about the lack of a true No. 1 defender on this list. It feels like Nate Schmidt has become the player, at least for now, and it has been really remarkable to see his transformation. He is very much the performance of how this team plays and how they succeed in their speed, strength and high quality of games throughout the whole fall season.

Schmidt is on average 24:53 of ice age per game this after-season, more than two minutes higher than his closest closest teammate, at a team height 462 shift. He plays in all situations and gets very difficult missions. According to Natural Stat Trick, Schmidt's most frequent opponent in the three series at five to five was Joe Pavelski, Anze Kopitar and Mark Scheifele. The knights have not necessarily dominated these players from start to finish, but Schmidt has helped make sure they do not hit them. He may have only six points so far this fall season, but he allows the Golden Knights to play in the way they do.

The highest line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, from left to right has been dominant this fall season. William and Wild Bill Karlsson Greg Bildhynski, senior NHL author: Chris and Emily certainly have two worthy candidates, but let me add a third: William "Wild Bill" Karlsson ]team leader in the regular season with 43 goals, who has made the effort over in the afterseason. He is the second to Marchessault in goal (six) and in Corsi (53.7), but has a better even-weight goal difference (plus-12, best at the knights). He made the match's winner in match 3 against the kings and made the conqueror in his match Game 3 win at San Jose.

Sure he is overshadowed by his line-up but Karlsson does a lot of heavy lifting to allow Marchessault and Reilly Smith to do their thing, like taking almost every faceoff for the unstoppable line. There may be worthy candidates for the prize "Flower Spreader", but Karlsson still has some big moments left in him.

Sachin Chandan, ESPN Newspaper Researcher: I also go with William Karlsson here. While he has been outscored by his ruler Marchessault, Karlsson has kept his own scoring pace while feeding the success of his linemates. He has helped 37.5 percent of Marchessault's goals and 50 percent of Reilly Smith's goals and opens the score even when he does not shoot. And he still shoots; Karlsson is third on Golden Knights with 44 shots and collects six of them.

Karlsson is also a major part of the Golden Knights' netural zone defense. Vegas is far from the leader in takeaways in playoffs, and a big part of it is their aggression in the neutral zone. Karlsson is attached to Schmidt as a leader in takeaways during the after-season, who runs the Vegas show. He has been entrusted with significant punishment and power game time and has retained his strong role.

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