Vegas Golden Knights add to developing roster with three first-rounders

Solenn Plantier
Juin 25, 2017

Vegas, which selected 30 players in its expansion draft Wednesday night, has three picks in each of the first two rounds.

And Marc-Andre Fleury is already a fan favorite, receiving a nice welcome when he was introduced to the fans in Vegas at the expansion draft. "I'll give it everything I've got to win some games and try to get into the community to meet people and spread the word about the Golden Knights". It remains to be seen what happens with Washington's Nate Schmidt, Ottawa's Marc Methot, Chicago's Trevor van Riemsdyk and San Jose's David Schlemko, any of whom could be traded as soon as Thursday.

After meeting with the board of governors earlier in the day, Knights chairman and CEO Bill Foley said he was already "very proud" of the roster assembled by McPhee.

"I believe we've put together a great team from the net out", Foley said. Some of that US$500-million expansion fee should have gone to joke writers. Its not just a player per team.

Here's how the rest of the league fared in their attempts to protect their most precious assets from the league's expansion draft, starting with the best deals for Vegas and ending with the worst. "It might have been an upgraded draft pick plus a player, all kinds of different situations". It's enough time for him to shape the roster using more than what he could get in the draft (or as a result of players chosen in the draft).

Forward Connor Brickley and a fifth-round pick in this year's draft went from Carolina to the Golden Knights followed by veteran forward Chris Thorburn from the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who starred for France in the World Cup of Hockey.

McPhee took advantage of wide-ranging reluctance among clubs to lose valued contributors, adding promising defenceman Shea Theodore from Anaheim and first and second round picks from Columbus.

Oscar Lindberg has been a very productive albeit unsung player in his first two years with the Blueshirts. Matt Murray was fourth in balloting for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. Calvin Pickard from Colorado and Jean-Francois Berube from the New York Islanders are only 25, and each one could be Fleury's backup or trade bait.

Vegas has a decent amount of depth at forward for a brand new hockey team, but lacks dominant franchise forwards. On Tuesday Las Vegas tied a city record when the temperature hit 117 degrees, and they had to cancel some flights because certain planes can't take off when it gets too hot. Now he's gone, and Erik Karlsson loses his blue line partner.

Las Vegas officially has their first professional sports franchise with the conclusion of the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion draft.

The Knights aren't expected to keep them all, though Engelland seems a sure bet.

White Rock's Jason Garrison has a new hockey home - the bright lights of Las Vegas.

“My roots are here, ” Engelland said. But they promptly moved back three spots in a deal with Dallas in the first of three trades announced during the first round. For it to finally happen, its unbelievable.

But it's hard to get over the lack of even strength production in the WHL from a top-10 pick, particularly given the other talent still available.

Fleury was selected 29th for the Knights. James Neal, Vadim Shipachyov, Reilly Smith, and David Perron will give Vegas some scoring power.

McDavid finished with 30 goals and 100 points in the regular season and sparked his Oilers to a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. At least 20 of those players must be under contract for the 2017-18 season with average annual salaries that add up to at least $43.8 million, or 60 percent of the salary cap for the upcoming season.

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