Golden Knights head coach talks expectations ahead of draft

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 23, 2017

"The next few days I'm sure I'll understand it a little bit better". "That was a warm welcome, and I'm getting excited about it".

The Golden Knights do not have a player who has previously been captain of a team, but they still have plenty of options based on experience.

Reilly Smith of the Panthers was also Vegas bound - part of a prearranged deal that will see the Golden Knights absorb his $25-million contract.

"It would be awesome to be drafted by Vegas; the first player to be drafted by that team would be special", Patrick said.

The roster has also been rounded out nicely with Cody Eakin, William Karlsson and Erik Haula, selected from the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and Wild, respectively. Its not just a player per team.

None of the choices got louder approval from the home crowd than the 32-year-old Fleury, who lost his starting job during last season's playoff run with the back-to-back champion Penguins. “I believe fans are really going to like the team, and the trades and the draft picks and the prospects that we have. "My kids were born here, so much memories from a lot of teammates and good people I met". Also in that group: Vegas resident Deryk Engelland, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt, Jason Garrison, Brayden McNabb, Griffin Reinhart, Luca Sbisa and hard-hitting former Montreal Canadien Alexei Emelin.

“My roots are here, ” Engelland said. Teams were limited in who they could protect. For it to finally happen, it's incredible.

Knights general manager George McPhee went heavy on defenders and short on high-end help in selecting 30 players at the first National Hockey League expansion draft in 17 years.

Colorado goaltender Calvin Pickard, who had a 2.98 goals-against average in 50 games last season, was the first player announced for the Golden Knights. "What surprised me was the quality of some of our forwards that we were able to get out of this situation, moving players around". He said that the league wants to do something uncommon like today's occasion to make the fans happy, especially the ones in Vegas. "They're going to be pleasantly surprised". The Vegas Golden Knights picked Marchessault in the expansion draft Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

It is reasonable to assume that Marc-Andre Fleury will be their No. 1 goalie, James Neal will be their top-line right winger and, barring a trade, Marc Methot will be on their top defensive pair.

Vegas general manager George McPhee indicated some of the players he chose in the expansion draft would be traded to other teams, perhaps as early as Thursday, when the NHL's short trade freeze is lifted.

The Golden Knights paid $500-million to plant a hockey team in the desert and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman changed the expansion draft process to help ensure it grows a fan base.

Of course, anyone familiar with the concept of an expansion draft understands that the second of those objectives is more important - and more realistic - than the first.

By agreeing to take goaltender Jean-Francois Berube, Vegas also acquired Bischoff, Mikhail Grabovski, the 15th overall pick in the 2017 draft and a second-round pick in the 2019 draft from the Islanders.

The Golden Knights added a pair of physical defensemen in Marc Methot of the Ottawa Senators and Alexei Emelin from the Montreal Canadiens along with Boston Bruins defenseman Colin Miller, who has registered a slap shot measured at 105 miles per hour.

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