The Vegas Golden Knights will pick 30 players from the other NHL teams during the expansion draft Wednesday night, but that’s not all. They’ll also be finalizing trades that have been simmering under the burner for the past few days.
The league reportedly requested that the Golden Knights and other teams wait until Wednesday to make expansion draft-related trades official in order to maximize excitement on the big day. The result is a bunch of deals happening all in a brief span as the Golden Knights leverage their situation to extract assets from other teams.
Teams will be trying to send picks and/or prospects to Vegas in order to select certain players, or to avoid certain players. The Golden Knights shouldn’t have any issues staying under the $75 million salary cap for next season, so they’ll be able to absorb some unwanted cap hits while adding pieces for the future. As long as those bad contracts are limited in term, it shouldn’t have much of an impact on their ability to build.
With all that in mind, here’s a running tab of every trade announced at the 2017 NHL expansion draft.
Golden Knights acquire 6th-round pick from Sabres
GM George McPhee said the Golden Knights were choosing between two players when the Sabres offered a sixth-round pick to go with a certain player. That ended up being forward William Carrier, who the Golden Knights get from Buffalo along with a sixth-round pick.
Reilly Smith to the Golden Knights
Vegas didn’t just get Jonathan Marchessault from the Panthers. The team also announced that it’s acquiring winger Reilly Smith from the Golden Knights in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round pick. Smith, 26, is about to begin a five-year, $25 million deal that Florida clearly wanted to get out of. Now Vegas gets a young forward who’s averaged 45 points per season over the past four years.
Golden Knights acquire 5th-round pick from Hurricanes
Vegas settled for 25-year-old forward Connor Brickley from Carolina, but gets a fifth-round pick for its troubles. Brickley, a 2010 second-round pick, recorded 26 points in 69 games with the AHL’s Carolina Checkers last season.
Nikita Gusev, draft picks to Golden Knights
In addition to picking defenseman Jason Garrison from Tampa Bay, the Golden Knights come away with 24-year-old winger Nikita Gusev, a 2017 second-round pick, and a 2018 fourth-round pick. The Lightning paid a high price to get out of Garrison’s contract, which has one year remaining at a $4.6 million cap hit. Gusev, who recorded 71 points in 57 KHL games last season, plans to stay in Russia, but the door is being left cracked open.
Nikita Gusev rights traded to Las Vegas. While no immediate plans to sign in the NHL. We will visit the team in the near future.— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) June 22, 2017
Islanders send Grabovski, No. 15 pick, more to Vegas
In a monster move, the Golden Knights take on the final year of Mikhail Grabovski’s contract and settle for goalie Jean-François Bérubé as their expansion pick, but they get a 2017 first-round pick (No. 15 overall), 2019 second-round pick, and defenseman Jake Bischoff from New York.
Top prospect Alex Tuch to Golden Knights
In exchange for laying off defensemen Marco Scandella and Mathew Dumba, the Wild agreed to trade top prospect Alex Tuch to the Golden Knights for a 2017 or 2018 third-round pick. Tuch, a 2014 first-round pick, recorded 37 points in 57 AHL games las season.
Additionally, Vegas used its expansion draft pick on restricted free agent Erik Haula, who reportedly has already agreed to a deal with the team.
David Clarkson, draft picks to Vegas
The Golden Knights are taking on Clarkson’s mess of a contract, but they get the Blue Jackets’ 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick, and young forward William Karlsson, who qualifies as the expansion draft pick. Clarkson has three years at a $5.275 million cap hit remaining on his deal.
Shea Theodore to Golden Knights
The Ducks really wanted to keep Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson (for good reason), so they paid the high price of top defenseman prospect Shea Theodore to make it happen. The Golden Knights also selected defenseman Clayton Stoner with their expansion draft pick, taking his $3.25 million cap hit off Anaheim’s books.
Jets, Golden Knights swap draft picks
In exchange for Vegas taking free agent forward Chris Thorburn, the Jets and Golden Knights agreed to a pick swap. Vegas acquires the Jets’ first-round pick (No. 13 overall) and a 2019 third-round pick. Winnipeg gets the Blue Jackets’ first-round pick (No. 24). So Vegas moves up 11 spots and gets a third-rounder for settling on Thorburn.
Golden Knights get a pick for taking Fleury
In exchange for taking the contract of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury off the Penguins’ hands, the Golden Knights nabbed a 2020 second-round pick from Pittsburgh.