Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Expansion Vegas loads up on D-men, could make more trades

AP | APToronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews poses before the NHL Awards Wednesday AP | APToronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews poses before the NHL Awards Wednesday
Lucia Summers | 29 June, 2017, 09:05

The Vegas Golden Knights stockpiled draft picks while also revealing the names of the first 17 players who will likely be part of their inaugural squad at Wednesday night's 2017 awards show and expansion draft at the T-Mobile Center.

After the Vegas Golden Knights made their final selection of the expansion draft on Wednesday night, the new National Hockey League franchise's general manager George McPhee explained to the fans inside T-Mobile Arena and to viewers watching on TV that he'd had two objectives for the night.

William Carrier, a 22-year-old left winger, was then chosen from the Buffalo Sabres, who also traded the Golden Knights a sixth-round pick for the 2017 draft to keep the expansion club away from another unprotected player.

Not taking Columbus forward Josh Anderson or goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and Winnipeg defenseman Toby Enstrom allowed Vegas to get a first-round pick and move up from 24th to 13th.

Vegas Golden Knights' Marc-Andre Fleury speaks with the media Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. Defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella plus centers Eric Staal and Erik Haula were all intriguing candidates, but Vegas settled for forward Erik Haula and a conditional 2017 or 2018 third-round pick, which probably won't be almost as valuable.

He received a huge ovation when the pick was announced.

Working in McPhee's favour is that this year's free agent pool is thin. GM George McPhee isn't an idiot. Our scouts and our hockey staff deserve an A-plus for the job they did, and I don't think we could have done any better.

"I'm so proud to be in Edmonton", McDavid said.

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It guaranteed that Vegas would take Fleury over the handful of other goalies that were available, and it made sure his contract, which will pay him $5.75 million annually over the next two years, was off the team's books.

Thanks to their maneuvering in the expansion draft, they had 13 picks in the draft, including three in the top 15 and three in the second round.

The Knights probably won't be as bad initially as the expansion Atlanta Thrashers _ who managed a meagre 39 points in 1999 _ but more in line instead with the 2000 Blue Jackets and Wild franchises, which finished 22nd (tied) and 25th overall in their first seasons.

Cody Glass was a kid when his family took a trip to Las Vegas. He took full advantage of the opportunity, becoming one of the team's most reliable players.

After choosing Deryk Engelland from Calgary, the Golden Knights announced a deal with the veteran defenseman, who still lives in Las Vegas during the offseason after playing for the ECHLs Las Vegas Wranglers a decade ago. Theyre going to be pleasantly surprised.”. The Golden Knights made some big moves in the expansion draft to stockpile picks, but the true test is finding a couple of key National Hockey League players with those selections.

The highlight of the draftees were three-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie from the Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury, as well as Predators veteran forward James Neal. "It's going to be really awesome getting started in Vegas". “Its kind of been in the back of your mind since they announced the team.

In addition to Garrison and his $4.6 million cap hit, Vegas also acquired the rights to highly touted Lightning prospect Nikita Gusev, plus Tampa's second-round pick in 2017 and fourth-round pick in 2018. You'd expect that from owner Bill Foley, who called it a "great team", and from head coach Gerard Gallant, who called it "a pretty impressive group". "I think a lot of times what happens is they are referring to there not being a generational talent and that's as much as a lot of people know about the draft".

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