The Golden Knights haven’t been easing Mattias Janmark into their lineup.
The winger, acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline, was elevated to the second line with center William Karlsson and left wing Jonathan Marchessault for Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena.
The Knights added Janmark for middle-six depth, but have already moved him into the top six with right wing Reilly Smith out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury. Janmark said he’s playing “more than I could ever ask for” five games into his tenure with the team and has made the most of his ice time.
He has three points, including his first goal with the Knights on Wednesday.
“It’s been easy,” Janmark said. “Everyone’s been welcoming me. It’s been really fun, and today was another step playing with great players. Hopefully I can keep contributing and hopefully we can keep winning.”
The Knights haven’t been shy about putting a lot on Janmark’s plate.
The 28-year-old has played all three forward positions and become part of the team’s penalty kill. He’s also on the first power-play unit with the Knights’ three leading scorers: right wing Mark Stone, left wing Max Pacioretty and defenseman Shea Theodore.
It’s not easy to take on all those responsibilities so quickly. But Janmark’s new teammates have liked what they’ve seen.
“He’s been pretty impressive since he showed up here,” Marchessault said. “He’s a straight line guy, you know what you’ll get from him every night. He has consistency, and he’s a great player.”
Right wing Alex Tuch said Janmark’s directness makes him easy to play with. He makes simple plays in the neutral zone and, more often than not, skates straight up and down rather than going side to side trying to make things happen.
That makes it easy for his linemates to read off him, and Janmark’s speed often opens ice for others. It has made for a smooth transition.
“For me, it’s been seamless,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “And you know what? It usually isn’t.”
The Knights hope they can see even more of Janmark’s game as he gets more adjusted. His addition already has been valuable with Smith out. If the team gets healthy, Janmark opens up all sorts of lineup combinations that could give opponents fits in the postseason because of the depth.
“I was really excited when we made the trade,” Tuch said. “He plays his role really well. Really smart out there.”