Editor’s note- Dominic Tiano is graciously keeping the blog afloat this week with content while the founder moves his household. Here’s an intriguing look at a possible future for the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights, who will take one player from each of the NHL’s existing 30 clubs about a month from now. Regardless of what happens, Dom has done a fine job of thinking through this and giving his best swag. Enjoy. -KL
The National Hockey League’s expansion draft to fill the roster of the Las Vegas Golden Knights is just a month away.
There are bound to be trades involving some of these players so that teams don’t lose an asset “for nothing”. There will probably be some back room bargaining between Golden Knights’ General Manager George McPhee and his counterparts to attain more assets for the Golden Knights in the form of draft picks or prospects to ignore some of these players and select a different player. Heck, a rival GM may ask McPhee to draft a certain player from a team and in turn, trade that player to him in a prearranged trade.
We don’t know which of those deals will be consummated so we’re just looking at who is available and who I think McPhee might select as of today.
If you believe in building from the net out, then this is a pretty decent group in goal and on defence – the latter at least making things difficult for the opposition. The forwards need some work. I also took into consideration expiring contracts in which McPhee can use at trade deadline to acquire assets.
The goaltending is young with an average age of just 25.3 years. Two of the goaltenders I’ve selected are restricted free agents. But the teams exposing them must make them a qualifying offer to meet their exposure rules, therefore the Golden Knights will retain their rights. The defence (27.8 years) and forwards (27.6 years) are a good mix with expiring contracts that can be used at trade deadline to gain extra prospects/picks.
The picks listed meet the Golden Knights draft obligations; 1) one player from each team; 2) 21 players under contract for 2017-2018 (must select 20); 3) Draft picks have an aggregate salary of $59,145,834 – must select players with an aggregate cap hit of $43,800,000.
Here are my picks for the Golden Knights along with contract status and age:
Joonas Korpisalo – Columbus Blue Jackets (RFA) (23)
Antti Raanta – New York Rangers (one year @ $1,000,000) (28)
Philipp Grubauer – Washington Capitals (RFA) (25)
Adam McQuaid – Boston Bruins (two years @ $2,750,000) (30)
Josh Gorges – Buffalo Sabres (one year @ $3,900,000) (32)
Trevor van Riemsdyk – Chicago Blackhawks (one year @ $825,000) (25)
Stephen Johns – Dallas Stars (one year @ $725,000) (25)
Alex Petrovic – Florida Panthers (RFA) (25)
Brayden McNabb – Los Angeles Kings (one year @ $1,700,000) (26)
Jonas Brodin – Minnesota Wild (four years @ $4,166,667) (23)
Ben Lovejoy – New Jersey Devils (two years @ $2,666,667) (33)
Thomas Hickey – New York Islanders (one year @ $2,200,000) (28)
Marc Methot – Ottawa Senators (two years @ $4,900,000) (31)
Jakob Silfverberg – Anaheim Ducks (two years @ $3,750,000) (26)
Teemu Pulkkinen – Arizona Coyotes (RFA) (25)
Michael Ferland – Calgary Flames (RFA) (25)
Lee Stempniak – Carolina Hurricanes (one year @ $2,500,000) (34)
Sven Andrighetto – Colorado Avalanche (RFA) (24)
Riley Sheahan – Detroit Red Wings (one year @ $2,075,000) (25)
Mark Letestu – Edmonton Oilers (one year @ $1,800,000) (32)
Tomas Plekanec – Montreal Canadiens (one year @ $6,000,000) (34)
Austin Watson – Nashville Predators (RFA) (25)
Michael Raffl – Philadelphia Flyers (two years @ $2,350,000) (28)
Carl Hagelin – Pittsburgh Penguins (two years @ $4,000,000) (28)
Joel Ward – San Jose Sharks (one year @ $3,275,000) (36)
Nail Yakupov – St Louis Blues (RFA) (23)
Vladislav Namestnikov – Tampa Bay Lightning (one year @ $1,937,500) (24)
Matt Martin – Toronto Maple Leafs (three years @ $2,500,000) (28)
Reid Boucher – Vancouver Canucks (RFA)
Matthew Perreault – Winnipeg Jets (four years @ $4,125,000) (29)