The Vegas Golden Knights and forward Ryan Reaves have put the final touches on a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 NHL season. Currently finishing off a two-year deal that held a $2.775 million cap hit and annual average value, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Winnipeg product put pen to paper on another two-year contract, featuring a $1.75 AAV, that will keep the NHL’s toughest customer working under General Manager Kelly McCrimmon in Vegas.
“Now look, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately,” Reaves shared on a video message from the Vegas Golden Knights’ Instagram account Monday. “There are two things I haven’t accomplished. No. 1, I haven’t won a Stanley Cup. No. 2, I haven’t won a scoring title. Now I can win a Stanley cup this year. I can do it. I can’t win the scoring title. I can’t do it, I just missed it by a couple points. And I also can’t do it next year if I don’t have a contract. So I am happy to announce that I just signed a two year extension with YOUR Vegas Golden Knights. I’m back baby.”
Despite being a prototypical ‘fourth line’ grinder, the big Winnipegger continues to bring more to the table than his status indicates. In 2019-20, he led the league with 316 hits, while limiting his penalty minute total to 47 – finishing 59th in the league. That said, McCrimmon and Co. have been known for treating Manitobans as well as – if not better than – any other rostered member over the years. Currently hosting Mark Stone, Cody Glass and Zach Whitecloud, five other players with Manitoba ties are also in Vegas’ system.
Reaves, 33, has played the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Golden Knights, since being acquired from Pittsburgh late in the 2017-18 campaign. The former Brandon Wheat King set career highs in 2018-19 with nine goals and 20 points in 80 games. Through 71 games this past season, Reaves has eight goals and 15 points.
In 649 total NHL contests, the right-handed shooting winger has 48 goals, 96 points and 910 penalty minutes. He has three goals and 58 penalty minutes in 53 postseason games. Reaves played a key bottom-six role for Vegas during the team’s march to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, scoring twice in the playoffs, while adding 18 penalty minutes and finishing a +4.
Now with Reaves checked off the books, the Knights have three other expiring forward contracts following the 2019-20 season. Tomas Nosek will also be an unrestricted free agent, while Nick Cousins and Chandler Stephenson will be restricted free agents. Fellow Manitoban AHLers Keegan Kolesar and Brett Lernout will also see their RFA status come into play with expiring contracts this coming offseason.