Grading the Golden Knights’ team

Joseph Beaudet

The Expansion Draft was tonight, so here’s the grade. I’m reviewing as we go, so here goes nothing. I will say the team name, what player was taken from them, and give my thoughts. Or if I get bored, I’ll comment on the commercials I see, but you’ll just have to wait and see for that, won’t you?

 

Colorado Avalanche

Las Vegas selected G Calvin Pickard

Great pick by Vegas, should be a great backup to Marc-Andre Fleury and will develop into a phenomenal goalie. Pickard was Colorado’s starter last season, and will benefit greatly from learning from Fleury, assuming he’s picked by Vegas.

Vancouver Canucks

Las Vegas selects D Luca Sbisa

The former first round pick is a solid selection for Vegas. Sbisa is a physical player, and will help sure up the Golden Knights’ blue line. At just 27, he may very well be a mainstay in this team for years to come

Arizona Coyotes

Las Vegas selects F Teemu Pulkinnen

Teemu Pulkinnen is a former fourth round pick, and has played parts of four seasons in the NHL. A 30+ goal scorer in the AHL, Vegas looks to tap into the potential that he’s failed to realize thus far in his career

New Jersey Devils

Las Vegas selects D Jon Merrill

The former second round pick is a promising talent, and he’s never gotten a big chance in the NHL. Merrill could very well become a mainstay in the Las Vegas defense for years to come.

Buffalo Sabres

Las Vegas selects F William Carrier

Vegas also gets a 6th round pick to stay away from a player that was unnamed. Carrier is a very physical player. He will likely be a gritty third or fourth line player for Las Vegas in their inaugural season.

Detroit Red Wings

Las Vegas selects F Tomas Nosek

Led the Grand Rapids Griffins in scoring in the Calder Cup Playoffs. I will say a lot about this one because I know the most about it. It’s weird that they selected Nosek, but makes sense. He’s a young center, and a promising scorer. I hate to see him go, but I would honestly rather see him than Mrazek or Sheahan or Ouellet.

Dallas Stars

Las Vegas selects F Cody Eakin

Silly guy. Said this before the Wings pick was announced. Eakin is just 26, and has potential to score 20 or more goals for Las Vegas. He is a relatively physical forward, but will likely be on one of the top two lines for the Golden Knights

Florida Panthers

Las Vegas selects F Jonathan Marchessault

Vegas also acquired Reilly Smith for a draft pick. Marchessault scored 30 goals in his first season with the Panthers, and is selected by the Golden Knights. A relatively physical forward, Marchessault will likely be on one of the top two lines for the Golden Knights because of that 30-goal season

Los Angeles Kings

Las Vegas selects D Brayden McNabb

There were boo’s as the Kings’ name was announced. Then cheers when McNabb’s name was announced. McNabb is very physical. And as of right now, it seems like the Golden Knights would like that to be their identity.

Carolina Hurricanes

Las Vegas selects F Connor Brickley 

Vegas also gets a draft pick, I didn’t catch what round. Holy another physical player. In 23 games last season, Brickley had a respectable 5 points and 46 freaking hits.

Winnipeg Jets

Las Vegas selects F Chris Thorburn

VEGAS GOT A FIRST ROUND PICK TOO. WTFFFFF?? and 2019 third I think(My actual reaction, I’m leaving this in so you can appreciate this). Another physical player… blah blah blah. They got a freaking first round pick. Who cares how good this guy is. Although, he will be a leader for at least this season

Philidelphia Flyers

Las Vegas selects D Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Bellemare is a veteran presence, and not really a super physical player. Having played just 3 years in the NHL, Bellemare is still kind of learning how to play in the NHL, but he is a good defenseman.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Las Vegas selects D Jason Garrison

also get F Nikita Gusev, 2017 second and 2018 fourth. My notes will stay, I panicked and typed them, so enjoy. Garrison is a very good pick by Vegas and he’s one of the best defenseman in the NHL, and has a hard shot according to the host people.

New York Islanders

Las Vegas selects G J.F. Berube

also get F Mikhail Grabovski, D Jake Bischoff, 17 first rounder, 19 second. More of my notes, enjoy! Berube’s had a respectable NHL career, but nothing to “Wow” and he may be flipped for picks.

Nashville Predators

Las Vegas selects F James Neal

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know who Nashville protected, but why didn’t they protect Neal? or give Vegas picks to stay away? Either way, Neal is a perennial 20+ goal scorer, and will likely be a mainstay in the Vegas lineup for years to come as he is still just 29 years old.

Calgary Flames

Las Vegas selects D Deryk Engelland

Engelland got a lot of love because he resides in Vegas. A physical veteran presence to help guide the young guys that Vegas has selected. There isn’t much else to say because I know nothing about Engelland

Toronto Maple Leafs

Las Vegas selects F Brendan Leipsic

The former third rounder has little NHL experience, but is a good, young player with a lot of potential.

Boston Bruins

Las Vegas selects D Colin Miller

He’s fast and has a mean shot according to the hosts. Averages about a hit per game, which isn’t much, but looking at his NHL statistics, he’s more of an offensive minded defenseman anyways.

Ottawa Senators

Las Vegas selects D Marc Methot

He enjoys blocking shots, 717 in his career. He isn’t much of an offensive player, but he’s a very physical player, and should be an everyday player for a young, and likely struggling Golden Knights team.

San Jose Sharks

Las Vegas selects D David Schlemko

He’s relatively young at 30 years old, and my god does he enjoy blocking shots. 589 blocks in 360 NHL games. Schlemko is another defenseman that may become an everyday player, or potentially one that’s held out for more picks.

St Louis Blues

Las Vegas selects F David Perron

Perron has potential to become a 20+ goal scorer perennially, and should become a mainstay in the Golden Knights lineup, as well as a player on one of the top two lines

New York Rangers

Las Vegas selects F Oscar Lindberg

A nice physical center for the Golden Knights, just the guy to fit the culture they seem to be trying to build. This team is going to be a pain in the ass to play frankly.

Edmonton Oilers

Las Vegas selects D Griffin Reinhart

former first-round pick. ANOTHER PHYSICAL PLAYER ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? 37 games in the NHL, 76 hits. The kid averages just over 2 a game, and about a blocked shot and a half per game as well.

Montreal Canadiens

Las Vegas selects D Alexei Emelin

Fits into the culture it seems Las Vegas is trying to build, very physical. I just don’t get it. How many physical players can you have on one team? It’s like they’re trying to become the league’s most hated team when they hit everyone so much they get hurt

 

Unrelated note: They just booed the fact that the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. I love Vegas now.

 

Anaheim Ducks

Las Vegas selects D Clayton Stoner

Hey guess what. This guy is physical too. Vegas also gets D Shea Theodore. More players to fit the culture Vegas seems to wish to build.

Minnesota Wild

Las Vegas selects F Erik Haula

Also get Alex Tuch for a third round pick. Haula may very well be the best player picked so far. Er, you could argue it. Increasing his scoring totals every season over the last four years. And Haula is only going to get better with more experience

Columbus Blue Jackets

Las Vegas selects F William Karlsson

Good on PK according to the hosts. Vegas also gets F David Clarkson, 2017 first, and 2019 second. He’s a gritty forward, but not one that gets a lot of hits. He’s not had may points through his NHL career, but that could change quickly with Vegas not having many centers right now.

Chicago Blackhawks

Las Vegas selects D Trevor van Riemsdyk

CHICAGO GOT BOOED TOO yay!! This is no surprise, and TvR will probably be one of the top pair defenseman for the Golden Knights for a long time to come

Pittsburgh Penguins

Las Vegas selects G Marc-Andre Fleury

This was expected. Vegas also gets 2020 second rounder. Weird that Pittsburgh would give them a pick to stay away from a player, when it seemed fairly obvious they were going to choose Fleury the entire time.

Washington Capitals

Las Vegas selects D Nate Schmidt

Schmidt is good offensively. He’s also a respectably physical player, and helps create chances for his forwards, as well as creating some of his own.

 

Overall, I think Vegas did a nice job drafting defenseman and set themselves up nicely for the future in goal and on defense. But I also think that this is a team that will struggle mightily scoring the puck. Offense isn’t something you fix with 3 first round picks this year, it’s something that takes time. With physical presences all over the ice though, the Golden Knights may surprise a few people this year, including myself.

For the players drafted alone, I give them a C. Bang average for a team that did little to address scoring in my eyes.

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