Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vegas Golden Knights Expansion Draft Results

New Golden Knight's Marc-Andre Fleury (left), Deryk Engelland (center) and Brayden McNabb (right)

The Vegas Golden Knights are officially part of the NHL! What an exciting time for hockey fans, the 31st team has their new jerseys and the initial roster is now set after last night's expansion draft. This article will detail all the players chosen in the expansion draft, the trades made by Vegas in addition to the draft picks, and how my mock expansion draft stacked up to the real team. Before I dive into the roster, here is a look at the new jerseys for Vegas:

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The new home (left) and away jerseys for the Vegas Golden Knights
Personally I am a huge fan of the new Golden Knights sweater, I like the Gold/Red/Black colour scheme (very similar to Hockey Germany) and the logo looks sharp! It's definitely going to take some getting used to seeing players like Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal (among others) in a new jersey next season, but this change is for the better of the NHL! Now it's time to get into the expansion draft results:

Pre-Expansion Draft Prediction:

Above you can see my prediction for the expansion draft from a few days ago (, the players boxed in green are the ones that Vegas selected from my list. Without a knowledge of all the side deals it was hard to completely predict the full roster, but 13/30 picks is a good start! Now here's what the actual roster turned out to be:

Expansion Draft Results:

Roster Breakdown:





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New Vegas Golden Knight's sniper James Neal

David Perron (Blues) - Last Season: 82 GP: 18 Goals, 28 Assist, 46 Points, -2

Erik Haula (Wild) - Last Season: 72 GP: 15 Goals, 11 Assists, 26 Points, +5

William Carrier (Sabres) - Last Season: 41 GP: 5 Goals, 3 Assists, 8 Points, -1

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Flyers) - Last Season: 82 GP: 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 8 Points, -1

Brendan Leipsic (Maple Leafs) - Last Season: 49 GP: 18 Goals, 33 Assists, 51 Points, +4 (AHL)

William Karlsson (Blue Jackets) - Last Season: 81 GP: 6 Goals, 19 Assists, 25 Points, +10

Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers) - Last Season: 75 GP: 30 Goals, 21 Assists, 51 Points, -21

Oscar Lindberg (Rangers) - Last Season: 65 GP: 8 Goals, 12 Assists, 20 Points, +2

Cody Eakin (Stars) - Last Season: 60 GP: 3 Goals, 9 Assists, 12 Points, -7

Tomas Nosek (Red Wings) - Last Season: 11 GP: 1 Goal, 0 Assists, 1 Point, -1

James Neal (Predators) - Last Season: 70 GP: 23 Goals, 18 Assists, 41 Points, -10

Teemu Pulkkinen (Coyotes) - Last Season: 13 GP: 2 Goals, 0 Assists, 2 Points, -2

Connor Brickley (Hurricanes) - Last Season: 69 GP: 15 Goals, 11 Assists, 26 Points, +8 (AHL)

Chris Thorburn (Jets) - Last Season: 64 GP: 3 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Points, -7

-Leading the group on forward is James Neal, 9-straight seasons of 20+ goals and fresh off a Stanley Cup appearance with Nashville. Neal could very well end up the 1st Captain in Golden Knights history, he will be a massive part of the franchise early on.
-11 of the 14 forwards taken are 26 or younger, with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (32) and Chris Thorburn (34) the only 30-year old forwards taken. 
-The Golden Knights benefited from some questionable choices by the Florida Panthers, drafting 30-goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault and adding Reilly Smith via trade too. Both Marchessault and Smith figure to be in the Knights top 6 group next season.
-The Golden Knights drafted 5 LW (Perron, Haula, Leipsic, Bellemare, Carrier) 5 C (Karlsson, Marchessault, Lindberg, Eakin, Nosek) and 4 RW (Neal, Pulkkinen, Brickley, Thorburn)

New Vegas Golden Knights D Deryk Engelland fields questions at the Expansion Draft

Marc Methot (Senators)
 - Last Season: 68 GP: 0 Goals, 12 Assists, 12 Points, +13

Luca Sbisa (Canucks) - Last Season: 82 GP: 2 Goals, 11 Assists, 13 Points, -1

David Schlemko (Sharks)
 - Last Season: 62 GP: 2 Goals, 16 Assists, 18 Points, +4

Nate Schmidt (Capitals) - Last Season: 60 GP: 3 Goals, 14 Assists, 17 Points, +22

Alexei Emelin (Canadiens)
 - Last Season: 76 GP: 2 Goals, 8 Assists, 10 Points, +1 

Brayden McNabb (Kings) - Last Season: 49 GP: 2 Goals, 2 Assists, 4 Points, +1

Griffin Reinhart (Oilers) - Last Season: 54 GP: 7 Goals, 14 Assists, 21 Points, +8 (AHL)

Trevor van Riemsdyk (Blackhawks) - Last Season: 58 GP: 5 Goals, 11 Assists, 16 Points, +17

Colin Miller (Bruins) - Last Season: 61 GP: 6 Goals, 7 Assists, 13 Points, Even

Deryk Engelland (Flames) - Last Season: 81 GP: 4 Goals, 12 Assists, 16 Points, +2

Jason Garrison (Lightning) - Last Season: 70GP: 1 Goal, 8 Assists, 9 Points, -9

Clayton Stoner (Ducks) - Last Season: 14 GP: 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Points, Even

Jon Merrill (Devils) - Last Season: 51 GP: 1 Goal, 5 Assists, 6 Points, -9

-Defense was the position I predicted best, with 6 of the 13 defenseman taken on my list (Methot, Sbisa, Schmidt, McNabb, van Riemsdyk and Miller).
-The two players that standout among this group are Marc Methot and Nate Schmidt, I thought both Ottawa and Washington would protect these guys (especially Methot after the Sens Cup run) and they will be a big part of Vegas next season (assuming they don't get flipped).
-Interesting to note that of this group of 13 defenseman, only 3 shoot right: Trevor van Riemsdyk, Colin Miller and Deryk Engelland.
-GM George McPhee will be a busy man in the next few days looking to move some of these defenseman, with van Riemsdyk already heading to Carolina and Schlemko to Montreal.


New Vegas Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury meets his new bosses Bill Foley (left) and George McPhee (right)

Marc-Andre Fleury (Penguins)
 - Last Season: 38 GP: 18-10-7, 3.02 GAA, .909 Save %, 1 Shutout

Calvin Pickard (Avalanche) - Last Season: 50 GP: 15-31-2, 2.98 GAA, .904 Save %, 2 Shutouts

Jean-Francois Berube (Islanders) - Last Season: 14 GP: 3-2-2, 3.42 GAA, .889 Save %

-I had Fleury and Pickard on my initial prediction list, but was very surprised to see Vegas not take any of Petr Mrazek (Detroit), Antti Raanta (New York) or Philipp Grubauer (Washington).
-Marc-Andre Fleury is the clear-cut starter, with Calvin Pickard being a nice compliment in net as the backup. Berube likely the the starter for Vegas's AHL team the Chicago Wolves.
-Many people predicted Vegas would take 4 goalies in order to flip 1 or 2 via trade, but it seems they only took 3 so that they could load up on defense (13).
-Marc-Andre Fleury becomes the face of the Golden Knights for the inaugural season after winning his 3rd Stanley Cup with the Penguins 10 days ago. Fleury was also picked by Vegas 14 years to the day (June 21st) that the Penguins took him 1st overall in the 2003 NHL Draft.

Trade Returns:

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Vegas Golden Knights added promising young blueliner Shea Theodore from the Ducks via trade

Shea Theodore (Ducks) - Last Season: 34 GP: 2 Goals, 7 Assists, 9 Points, -6

David Clarkson (Blue Jackets) - LTIR: Did not play last season

Reilly Smith (Panthers) - Last Season: 80 GP: 15 Goals, 22 Assists, 37 Points, -13

Alex Tuch (Wild) - Last Season: 57 GP: 18 Goals, 19 Assists, 37 Points, +10 (AHL)

Jake Bischoff (Sound Tigers) - Last Season: 6 GP: 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points, -2 (AHL)

Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders) - LTIR: Did not play last season

Nikita Gusev (St. Petersburg SKA) - Last Season: 57 GP: 24 Goals, 47 Assists, 71 Points, +33 (KHL)

1st-Round Picks - Islanders (2017), Jets (2017)

2nd-Round Picks - Blue Jackets (2019), Islanders (2019), Penguins (2017), Lightning (2017)

3rd-Round Picks - Jets (2019)

4th-Round Picks - Penguins (2018)

5th-Round Picks - Bruins (2017)

6th-Round Picks - Sabres (2017)

-George McPhee did a terrific job adding a number of draft picks and prospects through the expansion draft process. He basically held teams hostage for their own unprotected players, the most power a GM has ever had in the NHL before.
-Clarkson/Grabovski both are on LTIR and have played their last NHL games likely. Vegas takes on each of their contracts but got a 1st-round pick from Columbus and a 1st-round + 2nd-round pick from New York.
-Reilly Smith and Shea Theodore will both be important players for Vegas this upcoming season.
-With trades today of David Schlemko and Trevor van Riemsdyk, the Knights are up to 29 draft picks in the next 3 years, including five 1st rounders and seven 2nd rounders. Here is a chart showing all their picks (via


Vadim Shipachyov was 3rd in the KHL with 76 points in 50 games last season

Vadim Shipachyov (St. Petersburg SKA) - Last Season: 50 GP: 26 Goals, 50 Assists, 76 Points, +33 (KHL)

Reid Duke (Brandon Wheat Kings) - Last Season: 59 GP: 37 Goals, 34 Assists, 71 Points, +9 (WHL)

Tomas Hyka (Mlada Boleslav BK) - Last Season: 48 GP: 17 Goals, 21 Assists, 38 Points, +8 (EHL)

Post-Expansion Draft Trade Tracker:

1. Vegas Golden Knights send D Trevor van Riemsdyk and a 7th-Round Pick (2018) to the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2nd-Round Pick

2. Vegas Golden Knights send D David Schlemko to the Montreal Canadiens for a 5th-Round pick (2019)

Joel Forman - The Forman Faceoff

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