One of the most underrated storylines of the 2019-2020 season is the resurgence of Max Pacioretty. In large part due to his exceptional play, Vegas currently sits in 1st place in the Pacific Division with a three-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers despite each playing 71 games. Vegas had a 39-24-8 record in those 71 games and were on an 8-2 streak in their last 10 games. In fact, since Peter DeBoer took over for Gerard Gallant on January 15th, the team has a fantastic 15-5-2 record, which is among the best in the league over that span.
This season was set to be a career year for Max Pacioretty before the league suspended play, as he had hit his highest goal total (32) since 2016-17 and needed just eight more in his remaining eleven games to tie break his career-high of thirty-nine goals. His thirty-two goals were the best on the team this year, and his thirty-four assists were second-best under Mark Stone’s forty-two.
He was also on pace to play his first eighty-two game season since 2015-16, in which he scored thirty goals with thirty-four assists for sixty-four points. This season alone, in seventy-one games, he exceeded his point total from 2015-16 by two points. Pacioretty also tied his career-high in assists with thirty-four, which was set in that 2015-16 season in Montreal as well. Lastly, Pacioretty even was a whopping +18 +/- wise this season, which was his highest and only positive season since 2016-17.
AB wise, Max Pacioretty finished 2019-20 with a +2.63 individual score, which was 5th highest on Vegas this season behind Mark Stone (+4.38), Chandler Stephenson (+3.68), Reilly Smith (+3.36), and William Karlsson (+3.27). This was Pacioretty’s first individually positive season since 2016-17, and his highest individual score since 2014-15 when he registered an astounding +7.6 score. Pacioretty’s career AB score is a +1.58 over twelve seasons of data we have on him.
Pacioretty has three years remaining on his four-year, $28 million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights, and has a cap hit of $7 million per season. Pacioretty is tied with Marc-Andre Fleury for the 2nd highest cap hit on the team behind Mark Stone’s $9.5 million. We hope the NHL resumes play soon so that we can see Pacioretty continue on his incredible run, and to see if his efforts can help the Vegas Golden Knights capture the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Much more to come.