For what it's worth, most of the various online mock drafts call for the Golden Knights to focus mainly on relatively young, affordable talent - aside from the popular picks of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, forward James Neal and defenseman Marc Methot (each of whom will be 30 or older when the season starts and not particularly cheap).
By the time the entry draft concludes Saturday afternoon in Chicago, numerous players and draft picks selected by the Knights on Wednesday will be sent packing to other teams as general manager George McPhee begins transforming an abundance of unprotected, unsigned and unproven players into a competitive 23-man roster by the time the Knights open the season on October 6 in Dallas.
Fleury, who was on hand for the ceremony, received the largest cheer in front of the Las Vegas fans and goes from the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to the desert expansion team.
Another former Kootenay Ice player was drafted by the Golden Knights, defenseman Brayden McNabb. Other teams, such the Blue Jackets, Sabres and Ducks, traded draft picks and prospects to the Golden Knights to dissuade them from selecting key players on their unprotected lists.
Nashville GM David Poile couldn't hide his emotions at the moment Neal's name was announced.
Minnesota's plethora of blue liners made Matt Dumba, 22, and Marco Scandella, 27, available unless the Wild is willing to fork something over, and 25-year-old right-shooting Trevor van Riemsdyk from Chicago seems ticketed for the Golden Knights.
After meeting with the Board of Governors earlier in the day, Foley said he was already "very proud" of the roster assembled by McPhee.
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"It's really hard to believe we're here now and submitting this list", said McPhee. It's not just a player per team.
In any case, that left 23 players exposed.
The expansion draft is a celebratory night, but it only reveals a portion of the franchise-building done by McPhee over the past few months.
Vegas emerged from the expansion draft with 15 defensemen, and McPhee alluded before the expansion draft to trading some of them. Vegas appeared to land a particularly strong corps of blueliners through draft choices and trades, providing the foundation for the tough, young team envisioned by McPhee.
The Golden Knights' trade acquisitions also are intriguing.
"A couple of days ago, they threw the interest out there but I didn't think much of it", said Engelland, calling from backstage at the T-Mobile Arena and the scene of the NHL Expansion Draft.
The team announced the medical update Wednesday, one that could have a significant impact on the veteran's career and the franchise's future. For it to finally happen, it's unbelievable. "What surprised me was the quality of some of our forwards that we were able to get out of this situation, moving players around". Is a deal in place to make sure that Vatanen is not selected by Las Vegas? The kept Dano, they kept Enstrom and they let Chris Thorburn go out on a high note, being wanted and remembered for something more than his fists and toughness.
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