Analytics

Evaluating the Golden Knights Expansion Draft

on
January 8, 2018

Vegas owes its success to a lot of things from coaching to player performance to outstanding fan support. Simultaneously, the biggest contributing factor is without a doubt the ridiculous amount of talent George McPhee acquired in the expansion draft. While the rules were beneficial, it is strange looking back at what some other GM’s did to essentially help the Knights. Here is a general breakdown of what the expansion draft rules were;

  • A team had two options of protecting players
    • Option A: 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie
    • Option B: 8 skaters of any position and 1 goalie
  • Players who had been in the league for under 2 years were exempt from the draft.
  • A certain number of players needed to be exposed.
  • Players with no-trade clauses must be protected.

There were some teams that the Knights took full advantage of and hockey fans will probably continue to mock for some time, sorry Florida. However, there were some teams that escaped no worse for wear and others still that really lost nothing of value. Based on this let us rate the Knights selections and asset management of those selections as such;

  1. Picked a player of little to no value, or received little to no value in picks or prospects.
  2. Picked one of the middle players available, or received minimal value in prospects or picks.
  3. Picked one of the best players available, or received moderate value in prospects or picks.
  4. Picked the best player available, or received high value in prospects or picks
  • Total points available 120

Some things to consider when reading this assessment is that not all teams are the same. Some had far more talented players available than others. Also, if Vegas had chosen to select a different player it could create an overly crowded roster or lead to the non-selection of a player they actually did pick. While some selections may seem odd we have to remember that the team had the opportunity to select 30 NHL players for a 23-man roster team. It only makes sense that they would need to select younger players as well as make trades to decrease their roster size.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

Players Available

Forwards: Spencer Abbott, Jared Boll, Sam Carrick, Patrick Eaves, Emerson Etem, Ryan Garbutt, Max Gortz, Nicolas Kerdiles, Andre Petersson, Logan Shaw, Nick Sorensen, Nate Thompson, Corey Tropp, Chris Wagner.

Defensemen: Nate Guenin, Korbinian Holzer, Josh Manson, Jaycob Megna, Jeff Schultz, Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen.

Goalies: Jonathan Bernier, Jhonas Enroth, Ryan Faragher, Matt Hackett, Dustin Tokarski.

Selection: Defenseman Clayton Stoner

Compensation: Defenseman Shea Theodore

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Theodore- playing top four minutes, Stoner- LTIR

Rating: 4

No matter what Anaheim was going to lose a talented player. However, it is too early to tell if making a deal for Shea Theodore over Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson was the correct choice. Still the overall skill level between the three defensemen mentioned is negligible and Vegas has the advantage of youth in Theodore who is four years younger than both Vatanen and Manson. In short, the Knights likely made the best selection as Theodore is younger and allows for a cheaper contract for the short term, so the team can continue to build.

Arizona Coyotes

Players Available

Forwards: Alexander Burmistrov, Shane Doan, Tyler Gaudet, Peter Holland, Josh Jooris, Jamie McGinn, Jeremy Morin, Mitchell Moroz, Chris Mueller, Teemu Pulkkinen, Brad Richardson, Garret Ross, Branden Troock, Radim Vrbata, Joe Whitney.

Defensemen: Kevin Connauton, Jamie McBain, Zbynek Michalek, Jarred Tinordi.

Goalies: Louis Domingue.

Selection: Forward Teemu Pulkkinen

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing in the AHL

Rating: 2

The Teemu Pulkkinen selection is what happens when there is not much to choose from. If Vegas had selected a Josh Jooris, Jamie McGinn, and even Radim Vrbata they would have needed to give up a roster spot or not pick someone they picked in the draft. Teemu Pulkkinen has the advantage of still being able to play in the AHL giving Vegas some maneuverability. Nonetheless, Pulkkinen is already 26 years old and only has 70 games under his belt in the NHL. He is playing well in the AHL, but his value is quite low. He still has time to crack the lineup one day but more than likely will be used as a trade chip in the future.

Calgary Flames

Players Available

Forwards: Brandon Bollig, Lance Bouma, Troy Brouwer, Alex Chiasson, Freddie Hamilton, Emile Poirier, Hunter Shinkaruk, Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg, Linden Vey.

Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Culkin, Deryk Engelland, Michael Kostka, Brett Kulak, Ladislav Smid, Michael Stone, Dennis Wideman, Tyler Wotherspoon.

Goalies: Brian Elliott, Tom McCollum.

Selection: Defenseman Deryk Engelland

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Signed a 1-year contract in the summer

Status: Playing top four minutes

Rating: 3

This is a tough one because of what Deryk Engelland represents. It cannot be overstated how much presence he has both on the ice with the Knights and off the ice with the community. He is a fan favorite and hometown hero. Even his play has improved this season and is on pace to have a career year at age 35. However, he was a free agent who Vegas could have simply signed in the summer instead of wasting a pick. Calgary had a few quality depth players to choose from namely journeyman Kris Versteeg who has been very consistent over his career. But even Versteeg is not a high-value player and in a lot of ways, Engelland as a defenseman was one of the best players available anyway.

Edmonton Oilers

Players Available

Forwards: David Desharnais, Justin Fontaine, Matt Hendricks, Roman Horak, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Lander, Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick, Zach Pochiro, Benoit Pouliot, Henrik Samuelsson, Bogdan Yakimov.

Defensemen: Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference, Mark Fraser, Eric Gryba, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Griffin Reinhart, Kris Russell, Dillon Simpson.

Goalies: Laurent Brossoit, Jonas Gustavsson.

Selection: Defenseman Griffin Reinhart.

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing in the AHL

Rating: 1

This is one of the worst selections made by the Knights. There was a multitude of better players to choose from under the age of 26 in Jujhar Khaira, Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick and Jordan Oesterle. Even David Desharnais and Kris Russell would have been better selections. The argument that Reinhart is younger is out the window too as Khaira is the same age. In addition, the argument that Reinhart had more upside is also a poor one due to his previous struggles both on the Oilers and Islanders. While still young at age 23 Reinhart has little to no value currently. He could still make improvements, but the future does not look good.

Los Angeles Kings

Players Available

Forwards: Andy Andreoff, Justin Auger, Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Andrew Crescenzi, Nic Dowd, Marian Gaborik, Jarome Iginla, Trevor Lewis, Michael Mersch, Jordan Nolan, Teddy Purcell, Devin Setoguchi, Nick Shore.

Defensemen: Matt Greene, Vincent Loverde, Brayden McNabb, Cameron Schilling, Rob Scuderi, Zach Trotman.

Goalies: Jack Campbell, Jeff Zatkoff.

Selection: Defenseman Brayden McNabb

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Signed a four-year extension at $2.5 million cap hit.

Status: Playing top four minutes

Rating: 4

Picking McNabb was the right choice. Even with Dustin Brown’s recent resurgence, it doesn’t justify his contract. Players like Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, and the underrated Trevor Lewis would have been good pickups as well but not to the same level. McNabb will likely be a longtime top-four defenseman. He is currently eating up big minutes in the Vegas lineup and has some of the best possession numbers on the team which more than backs up his recent contract extension.

San Jose Sharks

Players Available

Forwards: Mikkel Boedker, Barclay Goodrow, Micheal Haley, Patrick Marleau, Buddy Robinson, Zack Stortini, Joe Thornton, Joel Ward.

Defensemen: Dylan DeMelo, Brenden Dillon, Dan Kelly, Paul Martin, David Schlemko. Goalies: Aaron Dell, Troy Grosenick, Harri Sateri.

Selection: Defenseman David Schlemko

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Traded to Montreal for a 5th round pick in 2019

Status: Playing in Montreal

Rating: 3

Schlemko was certainly one of the better if not best options as he has always been an incredibly underrated player. The Sharks did have some other notable players the highlight being Brenden Dillon. Now while Vegas did make the right selection the team was only able to trade away Schlemko for a 5th round draft pick to the Canadiens. Part of this may have been due to the oversaturated market that George McPhee created but the return for Schlemko was far below what it should have been.

Vancouver Canucks

Players Available

Forwards: Reid Boucher, Michael Chaput, Joseph Cramarossa, Derek Dorsett, Brendan Gaunce, Alexandre Grenier, Jayson Megna, Borna Rendulic, Anton Rodin, Drew Shore, Jack Skille, Michael Zalewski.

Defensemen: Alex Biega, Philip Larsen, Tom Nilsson, Andrey Pedan, Luca Sbisa.

Goalies: Richard Bachman, Ryan Miller.

Selection: Defenseman Luca Sbisa

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing top four minutes

Rating: 4

This was perhaps one of the most mocked selections of the draft. Yet he is on pace for a career year and at age 27 has plenty of years ahead of him. Sbisa has a number of flaws, but it is doubtful he ends up as a top-four defenseman for the Knights long-term. At this time, he may end up as a valuable trade chip sooner rather than later. Most of the other options available did not have much upside anyway and unless Reid Boucher develops into a top-six forward it looks like Sbisa was the right choice.

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Players Available

Forwards: Kyle Baun, Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Michael Latta, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen, Jordin Tootoo.

Defensemen: Brian Campbell, Dillon Fournier, Shawn Lalonde, Johnny Oduya, Ville Pokka, Michal Rozsival, Viktor Svedberg, Trevor van Riemsdyk.

Goalies: Mac Carruth, Jeff Glass.

Selection: Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Traded to Carolina with a 7th round draft pick in exchange for a 2017 2nd round draft pick

Status: Playing in Carolina

Rating: 4

Selecting Trevor van Riemsdyk was a no-brainer but it’s shocking that the Blackhawks had so little to offer for a team that has had so much success recently. While the Knights did not hold onto van Riemsdyk they did receive a good return on a defenseman who is averaging less than 16 minutes per game in Carolina.

Colorado Avalanche

Players Available

Forwards: Troy Bourke, Gabriel Bourque, Rene Bourque, Joe Colborne, Turner Elson, Felix Girard, Mikhail Grigorenko, Samuel Henley, John Mitchell, Jim O’Brien, Brendan Ranford, Mike Sislo, Carl Soderberg.

Defensemen: Mark Barberio, Mat Clark, Eric Gelinas, Cody Goloubef, Duncan Siemens, Fedor Tyutin, Patrick Wiercioch.

Goalies: Joe Cannata, Calvin Pickard, Jeremy Smith.

Selection: Goaltender Calvin Pickard

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Traded to Toronto for Tobias Lindberg and a 6th round pick in 2018.

Status: Playing in Toronto

Rating: 4

Colorado might have had one of the lowest talent selections to choose from. Sure, Vegas could have picked Carl Soderberg but that would also come with his whopping $4.8 million dollar cap hit. While Calvin Pickard did not stay with Vegas the team extracted good return for a backup goalie who has spent most of the season in the AHL.

Dallas Stars

Players Available

Forwards: Adam Cracknell, Justin Dowling, Cody Eakin, Ales Hemsky, Jiri Hudler, Curtis McKenzie, Mark McNeill, Travis Morin, Patrick Sharp, Gemel Smith, Matej Stransky. Defensemen: Mattias Backman, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ludwig Bystrom, Nick Ebert, Justin Hache, Dan Hamhuis, Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn, Dustin Stevenson.

Goalies: Henri Kiviaho, Maxime Lagace, Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi, Justin Peters.

Selection: Forward Cody Eakin.

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Centering the Vegas third line

Rating: 4

Dallas had some interesting young defenseman available in Nemeth, Oleksiak, and Pateryn. Nonetheless, they don’t have the same value that Eakin has. A lot of people tend to forget that Eakin is only 26. Also, as a center who spent the first quarter of the season centering a line between Neal and Perron, he has been more than capable of handling different roles.

Minnesota Wild

Players Available

Forwards: Brady Brassart, Patrick Cannone, Ryan Carter, Kurtis Gabriel, Martin Hanzal, Erik Haula, Zack Mitchell, Jordan Schroeder, Eric Staal, Chris Stewart, Ryan White.

Defensemen: Victor Bartley, Matt Dumba, Christian Folin, Guillaume Gelinas, Alexander Gudbranson, Gustav Olofsson, Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella, Mike Weber.

Goalies: Johan Gustafsson, Darcy Kuemper, Alex Stalock.

Selection: Forward Erik Haula

Compensation: Alex Tuch. Golden Knights give up a 2017 3rd round pick

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Haula- centering the Vegas second line. Tuch- playing wing on the Vegas third line.

Rating: 4

This was a risky move as the Wild left Matt Dumba exposed, a bonafide stud who is only 23 years old and has number one defenseman written all over him. I would be remiss if I did not also mention Eric Staal who has resurrected his career in Minnesota and would have been a great pick up as well. But when starting a new team, the goal is both talent and youth and the Knights found it in Haula and Tuch. While only Haula is playing top-six minutes Tuch has shown he can play top six minutes and his size is going to be a major asset in the future. McPhee hit this one out of the park.

Nashville Predators

Players Available

Forwards: Pontus Aberg, Cody Bass, Vernon Fiddler, Mike Fisher, Cody McLeod, James Neal, PA Parenteau, Adam Payerl, Mike Ribeiro, Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons, Craig Smith, Trevor Smith, Austin Watson, Colin Wilson, Harry Zolnierczyk.

Defensemen: Taylor Aronson, Anthony Bitetto, Stefan Elliott, Petter Granberg, Brad Hunt, Matt Irwin, Andrew O’Brien, Adam Pardy, Jaynen Rissling, Scott Valentine, Yannick Weber.

Goalies: Marek Mazanec.

Selection: Forward James Neal

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing wing on the Vegas second line

Rating: 4

At only 24 years old both Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons were very attractive options not to mention Craig Smith who is 28. All the same, none of these players are producing at the rate James Neal is and he is only 30 years old with plenty of gas left in the tank. On top of that his current cap hit of $5 million is not unreasonable and if he re-signs for something similar and continues to produce then Vegas made the right decision.

St. Louis Blues

Players Available

Forwards: Kenny Agostino, Andrew Agozzino, Kyle Brodziak, Jordan Caron, Jacob Doty, Landon Ferraro, Alex Friesen, Evgeny Grachev, Dmitrij Jaskin, Jori Lehtera, Brad Malone, Magnus Paajarvi, David Perron, Ty Rattie, Scottie Upshall, Nail Yakupov.

Defensemen: Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Butler, Morgan Ellis, Carl Gunnarsson, Jani Hakanpaa, Petteri Lindbohm, Reid McNeill.

Goalies: Jordan Binnington, Carter Hutton.

Selection: Forward David Perron

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing wing on the Vegas second line

Rating: 4

Like Nashville, a number of quality depth players were available on the Blues roster, but none are producing anywhere near the same as Perron. Even Jaskin and Paajarvi, players thought to have high ceilings have yet to truly elevate their games. Unless that happens the 29-year-old Perron was without a doubt the best option.

Winnipeg Jets

Players Available

Forwards: Marko Dano, Quinton Howden, Scott Kosmachuk, Tomas Kubalik, JC Lipon, Shawn Matthias, Ryan Olsen, Anthony Peluso, Chris Thorburn.

Defensemen: Ben Chiarot, Toby Enstrom, Brenden Kichton, Julian Melchiori, Paul Postma, Brian Strait, Mark Stuart.

Goalies: Michael Hutchinson, Ondrej Pavelec.

Selection: Forward Chris Thorburn

Compensation: Golden Knights receive 13th overall draft pick (Nick Suzuki) in 2017 for 24th overall draft pick in 2017 (Previously Blue Jackets pick)

Future Contract/Trade: Left via free agency

Status: Playing in St. Louis

Rating: 4

Vegas decided against taking a chance on Ben Chiarot or Marko Dano to instead move up in the draft nine positions to select Nick Suzuki who looks very good at the junior level. All in all, there does not appear to be much value in the players Winnipeg made available anyway. It is one of the more underrated moves the team made as it helps set them up for the future all the while not hurting them by further taking on loaded contracts. It is too early to see how good Suzuki will become but early reports have been nothing but positive. He recently received an invite to try out for the Canadian team at the World Juniors though he did not make the team.

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins

Players Available

Forwards: Matt Beleskey, Brian Ferlin, Jimmy Hayes, Alex Khokhlachev, Dominic Moore, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Drew Stafford.

Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant, John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow.

Goalies: Anton Khudobin, Malcolm Subban.

Selection: Defenseman Colin Miller

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing bottom pairing minutes

Rating: 4

A few notable names were available in Tim Schaller, Drew Stafford, and Anton Khudobin but it goes without saying Colin Miller was the right choice. While he is not great on the defensive side of the puck he is one of the best on the offensive side of the puck among Knights defenders. In addition, Vegas managed to pick up Malcolm Subban for free as well as Chris Casto during the offseason.

Buffalo Sabres

Players Available

Forwards: William Carrier, Nicolas Deslauriers, Brian Gionta, Derek Grant, Justin Kea, Matt Moulson, Cal O’Reilly, Cole Schneider.

Defensemen: Brady Austin, Mathew Bodie, Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk, Taylor Fedun, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Dmitry Kulikov.

Goalies: Anders Nilsson, Linus Ullmark.

Selection: Forward William Carrier

Compensation: 2017 6th round draft pick

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing wing on the Vegas fourth line

Rating: 2

While Carrier is a solid fourth line forward his future potential is limited. For now, his quick speed and physical presence are useful but the names the Knights passed on cannot be ignored. Both Nicolas Deslauriers and Derek Grant are putting up more numbers while playing close to the same minutes as Carrier. Both appear to have higher upside as well. Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk and especially Dmitry Kulikov are all solid defensemen. Also, Linus Ullmark is a goaltender who has starting potential in the future. Picking Carrier who does have youth on his side at age 23 was not a poor choice but Vegas could have done better.

Detroit Red Wings

Players Available

Forwards: Louis-Marc Aubry, Mitch Callahan, Colin Campbell, Martin Frk, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Tomas Nosek, Riley Sheahan, Ben Street, Eric Tangradi.

Defensemen: Adam Almquist, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Brian Lashoff, Dylan McIlrath, Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul.

Goalies: Jared Coreau, Petr Mrazek, Edward Pasquale, Jake Paterson.

Selection: Forward Tomas Nosek

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing wing on the Vegas fourth line

Rating: 2

Tomas Nosek has more potential than William Carrier but again Vegas passed up on better players namely Martin Frk and Riley Sheahan. Youth is not an excuse either as Frk is younger and Sheahan is one year older than Nosek. Yes, Nosek brings speed and a wicked shot to the Vegas lineup but I can’t say he has the same talent level or even value as Frk or Sheahan. For all that, the Nosek choice may look better over the next few seasons if he has the opportunity to play more minutes and is successful.

Florida Panthers

Players Available

Forwards: Graham Black, Tim Bozon, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, Derek MacKenzie, Jonathan Marchessault, Colton Sceviour, Michael Sgarbossa, Reilly Smith, Brody Sutter, Paul Thompson, Shawn Thornton, Thomas Vanek.

Defensemen: Jason Demers, Jakub Kindl, Brent Regner, Reece Scarlett, MacKenzie Weegar.

Goalies: Reto Berra, Sam Brittain, Roberto Luongo.

Selection: Forward Jonathan Marchessault

Compensation: Reilly Smith. Golden Knights give up a 4th round pick in 2018

Future Contract/Trade: Marchessault signed a six-year extension at $5 million cap hit.

Status: Both Smith and Marchessault are playing wing on the Vegas top line

Rating: 4

Seriously, do I even need to cover this selection? The fact that Florida GM Dale Tallon still has a job is a joke.

Montreal Canadiens

Players Available

Forwards: Daniel Carr, Connor Crisp, Jacob De La Rose, Bobby Farnham, Brian Flynn, Max Friberg, Charles Hudon, Dwight King, Stefan Matteau, Torrey Mitchell, Joonas Nattinen, Steve Ott, Tomas Plekanec, Alexander Radulov, Chris Terry.

Defensemen: Brandon Davidson, Alexei Emelin, Keegan Lowe, Andrei Markov, Nikita Nesterov, Zach Redmond, Dalton Thrower.

Goalies: Al Montoya.

Selection: Defenseman Alexei Emelin

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Traded to Nashville for a 3rd round pick in 2019. Knights retain salary.

Status: Playing in Nashville

Rating: 2

The Knights missed out on both Daniel Carr and Charles Hudon that alone makes the team’s selection misguided. Instead, the team chose Alexei Emelin who has been a very stable defensive defenseman his entire career and at age 31 has plenty of years ahead of him. However, Vegas only received a 3rd round pick for a guy who has been averaging around 20 minutes per game. Oh, and the Knights had to retain salary on the trade! It won’t hurt them as his contract expires this season but it boggles the mind how McPhee was unable to get more value from Emelin even if the market was saturated.

Ottawa Senators

Players Available

Forwards: Casey Bailey, Mike Blunden, Alexandre Burrows, Stephane Da Costa, Christopher DiDomenico, Nikita Filatov, Chris Kelly, Clarke MacArthur, Max McCormick, Chris Neil, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Rupert, Bobby Ryan, Viktor Stalberg, Phil Varone, Tommy Wingels.

Defensemen: Mark Borowiecki, Fredrik Claesson, Brandon Gormley, Jyrki Jokipakka, Marc Methot, Patrick Sieloff, Chris Wideman, Mikael Wikstrand.

Goalies: Mike Condon, Chris Driedger, Andrew Hammond.

Selection: Marc Methot

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: Traded to Dallas for Dylan Ferguson and a 2nd round pick in 2020

Status: Playing in Dallas

Rating: 4

This is the type of compensation Vegas should have gotten for Emelin. Sure, some quality depth players were available in Chris DiDomenico, Tom Pyatt, and Tommy Wingels but none hold the same value. Additionally, this leads back to the discussion of having too many roster players on the team or not selecting a current player. Alternatively, Vegas grabbed potentially a future goaltender and potentially a very high 2nd round pick if Ottawa begins to rebuild.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Players Available

Forwards: Carter Ashton, Michael Bournival, J.T. Brown, Cory Conacher, Erik Condra, Gabriel Dumont, Stefan Fournier, Byron Froese, Yanni Gourde, Mike Halmo, Henri Ikonen, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Tye McGinn, Greg McKegg, Cedric Paquette, Tanner Richard, Joel Vermin,

Defensemen: Dylan Blujus, Jake Dotchin, Jason Garrison, Slater Koekkoek, Jonathan Racine, Andrej Sustr, Matt Taormina, Luke Witkowski.

Goalies: Peter Budaj, Kristers Gudlevskis, Jaroslav Janus, Mike McKenna.

Selection: Defenseman Jason Garrison

Compensation: Nikita Gusev, 2017 2nd round pick (Jake Leschyshyn), 2018 4th round pick

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Garrison- Playing in the AHL, Gusev- playing in the KHL

Rating: 2

Right now this selection doesn’t look good. Garrison has been buried in the minors all season and the odds of Vegas signing Gusev are not something even a Vegas local would gamble on. The team did acquire a couple draft picks but it is going to take years to assess the quality of them given how late they are. Leschyshyn was selected 62nd overall. It doesn’t help that Vegas missed out on Byron Froese, Yanni Gourde, Jake Dotchin,  and Slater Koekkoek. Both Dotchin and Gourde are two players that are having excellent seasons playing full-time roles. I guess the state of Florida can only have one good GM.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Players Available

Forwards: Brian Boyle, Eric Fehr, Colin Greening, Seth Griffith, Teemu Hartikainen, Brooks Laich, Brendan Leipsic, Joffrey Lupul, Milan Michalek, Kerby Rychel, Ben Smith.

Defensemen: Andrew Campbell, Matt Hunwick, Alexey Marchenko, Martin Marincin, Steve Oleksy, Roman Polak.

Goalies: Antoine Bibeau, Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks.

Selection: Forward Brendan Leipsic

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing wing on the Vegas third line

Rating: 4

The Knights had to choose either a young and talented defensemen in Alexey Marchenko and Martin Marincin or a young and talented forward in Seth Griffith and Brenden Leipsic. Overall, not only did Vegas make a solid selection in Leipsic it is already showing that he was a step above the other choices. His playmaking ability at age 23 is ridiculous and if he develops his shot a little more both he and Alex Tuch are going to be a longtime nuisance against teams with Leipsic’s speed and Tuch’s size.

Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

Players Available

Forwards: Bryan Bickell, Connor Brickley, Patrick Brown, Erik Karlsson, Danny Kristo, Jay McClement, Andrew Miller, Andrej Nestrasil, Joakim Nordstrom, Lee Stempniak, Brendan Woods.

Defensemen: Klas Dahlbeck, Dennis Robertson, Philip Samuelsson, Matt Tennyson.

Goalies: Daniel Altshuller, Eddie Lack, Michael Leighton, Cam Ward.

Selection: Forward Connor Brickley

Compensation: 2017 5th round draft pick

Future Contract/Trade: Left via free agency

Status: Playing in Florida

Rating: 2

The frustrating thing is that Connor Brickley was the right choice however the Knights were unable to re-sign him in free agency. What is odd is the fact that Vegas also received a draft pick, which makes little sense as there really is not any players worth protecting that were exposed. Maybe the pick factored into future trades with Carolina? Both Trevor van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger were traded in separate deals to Carolina. All in all, this was a weird selection that for the most part will likely amount to nothing, but Vegas did at least receive some value.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Players Available

Forwards: Josh Anderson, Alex Broadhurst, Matt Calvert, Zac Dalpe, Sam Gagner, Brett Gallant, William Karlsson, Lauri Korpikoski, Lukas Sedlak, T.J. Tynan, Daniel Zaar.

Defensemen: Marc-Andre Bergeron, Scott Harrington, Jack Johnson, Kyle Quincey, John Ramage, Jaime Sifers, Ryan Stanton.

Goalies: Oscar Dansk, Anton Forsberg, Joonas Korpisalo.

Selection: Forward William Karlsson.

Compensation: David Clarkson, 2017 1st round pick, 2019 2nd round pick.

Future Contract/Trade: 24th Overall draft pick Traded to the Jets for the 13th overall draft pick

Status: Centering the top line

Rating: 4

The Knights may have taken on a three-year LTIR contract with David Clarkson, but they got a whole lot back in return. William Karlsson appears to be one of the teams best all-around players and has already matched his career numbers at the midway point of the season. The Knights also managed to use the first round pick to move up in the draft to select Nick Suzuki and the team still has another draft pick. This was another one of McPhee’s best.

New Jersey Devils

Players Available

Forwards: Beau Bennett, Michael Cammalleri, Carter Camper, Luke Gazdic, Shane Harper, Jacob Josefson, Ivan Khomutov, Stefan Noesen, Marc Savard, Devante Smith-Pelly, Petr Straka, Mattias Tedenby, Ben Thomson, David Wohlberg.

Defensemen: Seth Helgeson, Viktor Loov, Ben Lovejoy, Andrew MacWilliam, Jon Merrill, Dalton Prout, Karl Stollery, Alexander Urbom.

Goalies: Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood.

Selection: Defenseman Jon Merrill

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing bottom unit minutes/ sitting in the press box

Rating: 3

Jon Merrill is the defensemen who finds himself as the odd man out in Vegas. He is by no means a bad player but it is tough to justify him being in the lineup over other defenders. He may have a role playing bottom unit minutes if the team parts ways with either Sbisa or Engelland. But for now, his value is low due to limited use in the starting lineup. Stefan Noesen, Jacob Josefson, and Devante Smith-Pelly were all available as well. Yet, none of them would have been a better choice than Merrill. In retrospect, Merrill’s value is likely the highest out of those available and really does appear to be the better choice even if he is not playing.

New York Islanders

Players Available

Forwards: Josh Bailey, Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton, Jason Chimera, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta, Ben Holmstrom, Bracken Kearns, Nikolay Kulemin, Brock Nelson, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom.

Defensemen: Calvin de Haan, Matthew Finn, Jesse Graham, Thomas Hickey, Loic Leduc, Scott Mayfield, Dennis Seidenberg.

Goalies: Jean-Francois Berube, Christopher Gibson, Jaroslav Halak.

Selection: Goalie Jean-Francois Berube

Compensation: Mikhail Grabovski, Jake Bischoff, 15th overall draft pick (Erik Brannstrom) in 2017 and a 2019 2nd round pick.

Future Contract/Trade: Left via free agency

Status: Berube- Playing in Chicago, Grabovski- LTIR, Bischoff- playing in the AHL

Rating: 2

Say what you will about getting Erik Brannstrom, the Knights did not get enough compensation for this selection. The Islanders left Clutterbuck, Strome, Nelson, Hickey, de Haan and Josh Bailey exposed. The fact that the team had to take on Grabovski’s contract and Berube walking in free agency makes this pick look worse. If Brannstrom or the future 2nd round pick do not work out this will be the worst selection made by McPhee. For now Vegas can rely on the good early reports on Brannstrom and at age 18 he has plenty of time to develop.

New York Rangers

Players Available

Forwards: Taylor Beck, Chris Brown, Daniel Catenacci, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Carl Klingberg, Oscar Lindberg, Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel.

Defensemen: Adam Clendening, Tommy Hughes, Steven Kampfer, Kevin Klein, Michael Paliotta, Brendan Smith, Chris Summers.

Goalies: Magnus Hellberg, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski.

Selection: Forward Oscar Lindberg

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing in the bottom six/ Sitting in the press box

Rating: 3

Antti Raanta is 28 years old and is capable of being a starting netminder. But selecting multiple capable starters will only create an unnecessary controversy it makes little sense to pick Raanta if the plan was for Fleury. With that said the Knights still made a risky move by picking Lindberg when both Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner were available. Lindberg has talent and would likely be putting up more points if he was able to crack the roster more often. He like Jon Merrill simply finds himself as the odd man out in Vegas and as such doesn’t reflect his overall talent. For now, he has youth and has done well in his limited role with the team.

Philadelphia Flyers

Players Available

Forwards: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Greg Carey, Chris Conner, Boyd Gordon, Taylor Leier, Colin McDonald, Andy Miele, Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Chris VandeVelde, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise, Eric Wellwood.

Defensemen: Mark Alt, TJ Brennan, Michael Del Zotto, Andrew MacDonald, Will O’Neill, Jesper Pettersson, Nick Schultz.

Goalies: Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth.

Selection: Forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Centering the fourth line

Rating: 3

The Frenchman Bellemare may not have been the best player available but he appears to be the player Vegas needed. It also cannot be overstated the value a center has in the league, especially one that can win faceoffs and kill penalties. Long term Jordan Weal is going to be the better player without dispute. Yet, Bellemare has proven his value and at age 32 he has at least three quality years ahead of him. The Knights did need some veteran leadership and if it came at the cost of Jordan Weal then it was worth it.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Players Available

Forwards: Josh Archibald, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Carl Hagelin, Tom Kuhnhackl, Chris Kunitz, Kevin Porter, Bryan Rust, Tom Sestito, Oskar Sundqvist, Dominik Uher, Garrett Wilson, Scott Wilson.

Defensemen: Ian Cole, Frank Corrado, Trevor Daley, Tim Erixon, Cameron Gaunce, Ron Hainsey, Stuart Percy, Derrick Pouliot, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Streit, David Warsofsky.

Goalies: Marc-Andre Fleury.

Selection: Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury

Compensation: Vegas receives a 2020 2nd round pick

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Vegas starting netminder

Rating: 4

Fleury was the obvious choice but what is more shocking is why Vegas received a draft pick for selecting him. The Penguins had some talented players available such as Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino but none of these players should have been worth protecting. In fact, Bonino had an expiring contract and Hagelin has an overpriced contract so how McPhee negotiated a draft pick out of this selection is nothing short of voodoo. Oh, Marc-Andre Fleury is going to not just make for an excellent goaltender but also a great mentor to future goalies too.

Washington Capitals

Players Available

Forwards: Jay Beagle, Chris Bourque, Paul Carey, Brett Connolly, Stanislav Galiev, Tyler Graovac, Garrett Mitchell, Liam O’Brien, T.J. Oshie, Zach Sill, Chandler Stephenson, Christian Thomas, Nathan Walker, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik.

Defensemen: Karl Alzner, Taylor Chorney, Cody Corbett, Darren Dietz, Christian Djoos, Tom Gilbert, Aaron Ness, Brooks Orpik, Nate Schmidt, Kevin Shattenkirk.

Goalies: Pheonix Copley, Philipp Grubauer.

Selection: Defenseman Nate Schmidt

Compensation: None

Future Contract/Trade: None

Status: Playing top pairing minutes

Rating: 4

It was either Nate Schmidt or Philipp Grubauer, no other player is even worth discussing. The argument for Schmidt is straightforward. He is currently the team leader in ice time and is without question the number one defensemen on the team. Picking multiple starting goaltenders would have handicapped the Knights and likely led to either an unnecessary goalie controversy or the wasted talents of a player. The team made their choice in Fleury so it made little sense to acquire another goalie who is more than capable of starting right now.

Best selections

  • Anaheim
  • Los Angeles
  • Minnesota
  • Nashville
  • St Louis
  • Winnipeg
  • Boston
  • Florida
  • Columbus
  • Pittsburgh
  • Washington

Worst selections

  • Arizona
  • Edmonton
  • Buffalo
  • Detroit
  • Montreal
  • Tampa Bay
  • Carolina
  • New York Islanders

Division Breakdown

  • Pacific: 21/ 28 – 75%
  • Central: 28/28 – 100%
  • Atlantic: 24/32 – 75%
  • Metro: 25/ 32 – 78%
  • Total: 98/120 – 82%

 

Feature Image Credit: NHL.com
TAG
RELATED POSTS
%d bloggers like this: