Put some respect on the man’s name.
In the 2021-22 Player Review series, we will evaluate the 2021-22 performances of each key member of the Golden Knights. Players were evaluated based on overall performance in the regular season with regard to pre-season expectations and how that player performed in his particular role.
William Carrier made his NHL debut as a 22-year-old during the 2016-17 season as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, and 2021-22 represented his sixth year in the league, and his best as a pro to date. Carrier made his way to the Vegas Golden Knights by way of the expansion draft, and for the first few years was a fine depth forward who had minimal playing time. This year injuries created more of an opportunity for Carrier, and he certainly made the most of it.
Season In Review
Carrier appeared in 63 games this season, and tallied a career best 9 goals and 20 points. He also had 11 assists, and was one shy of tying a career best established during the 2019-20 season. Analytically Carrier had a very strong year too, and he set new highs in above replacement metrics.
His overall GAR (goals above replacement) number this year was 6.3, and here’s a look at how he arrived there via Evolving-Hockey.com
- Even Strength Offense — 5.1
- Even Strength Defense — 1.2
- Power Play Offense — -0.1
- Shorthanded Defense — 0
- Penalties Taken — 0
- Penalties Drawn — 0
Other numbers of note for Carrier include an expected goals for percentage of 57.09 (3rd overall on VGK), a Corsi for percentage of 56.4 (3rd), and a goals for percentage of 57.31 (5th) among roster regulars. Obviously the caveat with these stats is that he played 709 minutes of hockey at 5v5, and spent time in a reduced role. That said, he did the job that was asked of him, and for that he deserves a lot of credit.
The Golden Knights have a cap crunch this summer, and it helps to have a player like Carrier under contract for two more years at $1,400,000. He provides a lot of value, and does so at a bargain. But the team is going to be looking to save as much as possible, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he’s dangled as an add-in to an offseason trade. But if he does stick around, I expect him to be a versatile top-nine forward who can try and take the next step offensively. I see no reason why he can’t be a 30-35+ point player, and essentially be what Barclay Goodrow was for the Tampa Bay Lightning.