The Vegas Golden Knights submitted their list of selections in the expansion draft to the NHL on Wednesday morning, which means they should leak by the time you finish this paragraph.
Just as interesting are the moves the Knights have reportedly made as side deals to that expansion draft list, as the other 30 teams attempted to steer them to certain picks.
GM George McPhee said the Knights had agreed to around a half-dozen deals as of Tuesday. The number could have doubled when all is said and done with the draft, whose results will officially be revealed at the NHL Awards on Wednesday night in Vegas.
Here is what’s out there on the trade front for the Golden Knights:
* The Anaheim Ducks, one of the more controversial and mysterious teams in the expansion draft, appear to have their deal set with Vegas. Bob McKenzie reports that in order to keep defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson, the Knights agree to select defenseman Clayton Stoner in the draft (one more year at a $3.25 million cap hit) and then will acquire 21-year-old defenseman Shea Theodore, who has one more year on his ELC and is then a restricted free agent. Now that’s leveraging a deal.
* The Minnesota Wild avoided having either Marco Scandella or Matt Dumba selected by having restricted free agent forward Erik Huala sign with the Knights – thus acting as their selection in the draft – and agreeing to trade 21-year-old former Boston College standout Alex Tuch and a conditional future draft pick to the Knights. Tuch scored 18 goals and 37 points in 57 games for Iowa in the AHL during his first pro season in 2016-17. He’s a power forward, and a really strong acquisition for Vegas. This was all confirmed by Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
* According to Newsday, the New York Islanders will sent a first-round pick in 2017 and center Mikhail Grabovski to the Knights to steer them away from several players such as Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan in the expansion draft. There was talk the Knights would select Mikhail Grabovski’s friend and linemate Nikolai Kulemin as part of the arrangement. This situation was intriguing because McPhee was a front office consultant with the Islanders before joining Vegas.
* According to several sources, the Pittsburgh Penguins sent a draft pick to Vegas to ensure they took goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who waived his no-move clause to clear the way for this.
* Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Lightning have cut a side deal to ensure that young defensemen Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin aren’t selected by the Knights. There is talk that defenseman Jason Garrison, who has one year left at $4.6 million against the cap, could be the Vegas pick with compensation headed their way.
* The Chicago Blackhawks, as first reported by Frank Seravalli of TSN, are expected to send defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Knights so they’ll select forward Marcus Kruger in the draft. Please note this report predated the news that Marian Hossa is out for the season with an allergy to his own equipment.
* The Columbus Blue Jackets, according to Aaron Portzline, will send their first-round pick (No. 24) and a prospect that could end up being center William Karlsson to the Knights to steer them away from several players.
* McKenzie reports that the Florida Panthers expect to lose forward Jonathan Marchessault, who scored 30 goals last season, but that they’re actually trying to get the Knights to select him and forward Reilly Smith, who makes $5 million against the cap through 2022 and plummeted back down to earth statistically with 15 goals in 80 games after scoring 25 in 82 games in a contract year. What a weird situation. Such is Florida.
We’ll update this list when more deals are reported.
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