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

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 24, 2017

Vegas sent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and a 2018 seventh-round draft pick to Carolina for a second-round selection on Saturday.

Also, the NHL Winter Classic will be on display on New Year's Day as the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers travel to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee replies to media questions at the Chicago Marriott Hotel on Thursday, June 22, 2017 ahead of the NHL Entry Draft.

Marc-Andre Fleury will return to Pittsburgh on February 6 as the Golden Knights face the Penguins.

Everyone loves a victor, but if it's not built to last, the reality of being average over the long term can quickly take up residence with your franchise, so the Knights will succeed mostly on what McPhee does on nights such as Friday and how much tolerance ownership and a fan base will exhibit. "I heard we sold out our season tickets already so it's great to have the fans and the community behind us", said Fleury, who got the loudest cheer of the night from the Vegas crowd at T-Mobile Arena. He is definitely going to be trading some of these players for more assets, but at what point would he have been better off just taking guys from the exposed list and not taking side deals? In many cases, it might have been two players a team.

In 1999, the Atlanta Thrashers selected 26 players in the expansion draft. The real pity is that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion wasn't able to find a way to swing a deal with McPhee that would have kept him away from Methot, nor was he able to trade Phaneuf in the week leading up to the expansion draft. In one such example, Vegas did not select Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella or Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild and got in return prospect Alex Tuch and a conditional third round pick. When you have one pick in the first round, you're looking for one guy. The Knights were allowed one player from each roster for a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders. The fact the Golden Knights also got a second-round pick (albeit in 2020) from the Penguins is just icing on the cake.

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.

The Golden Knights' best acquisition may have come 11 months ago when owner Bill Foley hired McPhee. Now he's gone, and Erik Karlsson loses his blue line partner.

They took Luca Sbisa and Deryk Engelland. If they take a speedy player, they won't weigh speed any less afterward.

"It's great to be reunited with him", Engelland said.

Meanwhile, just a third of fourth-round picks ever reach the National Hockey League, and when they do they average 11 goals and 26 points per 82 games, inferior production to what Marchessault and Smith provided in 2016-17. "For it to finally happen, it's unbelievable". The moves free up more money for Tampa to go after another second-pairing defenseman. James Neal, Vadim Shipachyov, Reilly Smith, and David Perron will give Vegas some scoring power. Their roster will look very different from what it does now after the 2017 NHL Draft, free agency negotiations and other various trades. He also recently won a silver medal for Canada at the world championship, where he went 5-2-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average.

They voluntarily selected Cody Eakin and his three goals in 60 games.

Nashville forward James Neal, who has scored at least 20 goals in all nine of his National Hockey League seasons, including 40 in 2011-12, highlighted the next eight selections, which also included 35-year-old Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland, a Las Vegas resident and former member of the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL.

Beyond requisite positional numbers, the Knights needed to pick at least 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season with a minimum collective cap hit of US$43.8 million.

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