Monday, 25 June, 2018


Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

Nolan Patrick is the son of former Sabres forward Steve Patrick and nephew of ex Sabres assistant coach James Patrick Nolan Patrick is the son of former Sabres forward Steve Patrick and nephew of ex Sabres assistant coach James Patrick
Noah Ferguson | 23 June, 2017, 17:02

That transition to the desert will be easier for some Golden Knights: Deryk Engelland has lived in Las Vegas in the off-season for a decade.

The Vegas Golden Knights stockpiled draft picks while also revealing the names of the first 17 players who will likely be part of their inaugural squad at Wednesday night's 2017 awards show and expansion draft at the T-Mobile Center. "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. I was a fan of Neal throughout his time in Nashville, it just felt like he wasn't as important to the team as someone like Filip Forsberg or Victor Arvidsson who are very influential even if they aren't scoring goals game after game.

Fleury, 32, was Pittsburgh's No. 1 selection in the 2003 NHL Draft.

Vegas was required to select one player from each of the existing 30 teams and had to take at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.

The players who have already arrived in Vegas realize that although they're starting over, they aren't starting from scratch. With three of the first 13 picks in this weekend's draft, it's about the players they hope to add in the future. "David Perron is one of those guys", NBC analyst Pierre McGuire said. They also will have extra picks in the second, fifth and sixth rounds.

The other 30 teams protected either seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender, or eight skaters and a goalie.

It took his current roster to 37 players, surprisingly only now fit with three goalies.

Here's a fun party game: How many of these players will be with this franchise the first time it makes the playoffs?

One for sure will be Fleury, who arrived in Pittsburgh as the first overall pick of the 2003 National Hockey League entry draft, and helped turn a rebuilding Penguins' team into one that eventually won three Stanley Cups in his time with the club.

For example, the Islanders gave up a 1st round pick, a 2nd round pick and two players so that the Golden Knights wouldn't take Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey or Calvin de Haan from their roster. Emelin has been with Montreal for the past five seasons, while Methot has spent the last five years with the Senators as the longtime defensive partner of Norris Trophy finalist Erik Karlsson.

In 1999, the Atlanta Thrashers selected 26 players in the expansion draft. If he is able to acclimate quickly to the National Hockey League, the 30-year-old could be the next Alexander Radulov or Artemi Panarin. Grabovski, also 33, has one year and $5 million remaining on his contract and has not played since 2015-16 because of a concussion.

"With Sid and Geno in Pittsburgh, Fleury wasn't as much of a focal point, but he still was a huge part of that organization, a big face there", said Engelland, a former Penguins teammate. For it to finally happen, it's awesome.

In constructing protection rules for this expansion draft, the National Hockey League hoped Vegas might boast a relatively formidable initial roster. The Vegas Golden Knights picked Marchessault in the expansion draft Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

Quality goaltending was key to those clubs and Fleury should offer something similar to the Knights. The Canadiens desperately need a blue-liner after dealing Nathan Beaulieu and prospect Mikhail Sergachev, but shedding Emelin's $4.1 million cap hit will help the team acquire someone through trade or free agency this offseason.

In three years with the Predators, Neal scored a total of 77 goals, averaging 45 points in each season. McPhee and Foley announced each pick while sitting at a table on stage at the award ceremony.

Cody Eakin was next up from the Dallas Stars.

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