The NHL released the Expansion Draft protected list yesterday. There were no surprises from the Oilers. They will lose one of Benoit Pouliot, Iiro Pakarinen, Griffin Reinhart, Jujhar Khaira, Mark Fayne or Laurent Brossoit. The Knights could also sign an Oilers free agent like Kris Russell or Tyler Pitlick, which would count as the one player the Oilers lose.
Certain teams had to expose some quality NHL players, but rumours are swirling that Vegas GM George McPhee already has some deals in place where he will receive draft picks or prospects in exchange to not draft players like Josh Manson or Sami Vatanen.
Is this the right strategy?
Let’s assume the Knights pick the best players from the Available list based on position rules and salary cap.
Forwards (must select 14):
Jamie McGinn, Arizona ($3.33 million)
Matt Stajan, Calgary ($3.125 million)
Joakim Nordstrom, Carolina ($1.275 mill)
Cody Eakin, Dallas ($3.85 million)
Riley Sheahan, Detroit ($2.075 mill)
James Neal, Nashville ($5 million)
Devante Smith-Pelly, New Jersey ($1.3 million)
Brock Nelson, NYI ($2.5 million)
Michael Grabner, NYR($1.65 million)
Jordan Weal, Philadelphia (UFA, Sign to deal)
Joel Ward, San Jose ($3.275 mill)
J.T Brown, Tampa Bay ($1.25 million)
Ben Smith, Toronto ($650,000)
Brendan Gaunce (RFA, $949,000 Qualifying offer)
Fifteen forwards at $31.3 million (signed Weal to $1 million deal)
D-men (must select 9):
Josh Manson, Anaheim. ($850,000)
Colin Miller, Boston ($1 million)
Trevor Van Riemsdyk, Chicago ($825,000)
Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton (RFA, $949,000 QO).
Jason Demers, Florida ($4.5 million)
Brayden McNabb, Los Angeles ($1.7 million)
Matt Dumba, Minnesota ($2.55 million)
Brandon Davidson, Montreal ($1.425 million)
Marc Methot, Ottawa ($4.9 million)
Carl Gunnarson, St.Louis ($2.9 million)
Nate Schmidt, Washington (RFA, 894,000 QO)
Toby Enstrom, Winnipeg ($5.75 million)
Twelve D-men at $28.3 million
Goalies (minimum three):
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh ($5.75 mill)
Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus ($900,000)
Linus Ullmark, Buffalo ($750,000)
Calvin Pickard, Colorado ($1 million)
Four goalies at $8.4 million.
Total: 30 players at $68 million.
This is who I could see them using. I’m sure someone might like a different player off of a certain team. Some teams don’t have an obvious choices. I felt Schmidt would do more for Vegas on the ice than Phillipp Grubauer as a backup. I looked at Michal Neuvirth in Philadelphia, as well due to McPhee knowing him their time in Washington, but with so few possible goal scorers I thought taking a cheap risk on Weal was worth it.
Who would you have on your team?
McPhee has to make some trades, otherwise he’d lose some of these players on waivers at the end of the preseason.
It seems the only reason Manson and Vatanen are on the list is because the Ducks and Vegas have a pre-determined deal. The Ducks do not have a 2017 1st rounder, so their 2018 pick could be in play. But why would you, for example, trade Manson for a first rounder next year? Unless the Ducks struggle mightily, at best it will be the 15th pick, and likely higher. I think this trade will include a young player, you heard it hear first, Shea Theodore, and a pick. If they do that then the deal would make more sense. The Ducks have an abundance of D-men and Manson is different than all their other young defenders. He is big, physical and a great skater.
I can see if McPhee trades away players with one year remaining before they become a UFA for a pick, but Manson is an excellent young defender and I’d be asking for an actual NHL player not to take him.
It will be wise for McPhee to garner some high picks from a team not to take a certain player, but he needs to avoid overvaluing draft picks over guaranteed NHL players. One of the biggest mistakes perennial bottom-feeders make is they trade away proven NHL players for draft picks. I can see doing it at the trade deadline when you are unsure the potential UFA would re-sign, but dealing proven NHL players for prospects or picks is often a losing a bet.
Sure, sometimes it works, but more often than not those picks and prospects do not become better NHL players than the proven vet you traded.
- If they take Fleury, which most assume they will, then they should want to ice at least a competent team? Their blueline could look pretty good, even if they deal some of the aforementioned names. Their biggest struggle, like every expansion team, will be goal scoring.
- The CFL has teamed up with Draftkings for a fantasy league. The league desperately needed it and this is a fun free one to play for week One. Even Wanye is putting a team in, but he was upset when he Eddie Steele was cut because there is no #97 on the Esks now.
- Phillipp Grubauer is the one I struggled with the most. I really like him, but Colorado had no player better than Pickard, so I took Pickard and Schmidt instead.
- After our successful NHL17 gaming tournament many asked if we would do one for FIFA 17 tourney. We listened and we have one, once again all for charity, and the winner gets a kick ass 1st place package. You can register here. The tourney will be on July 16th. Registration opens today and based on our NHL 17 tourney it will sell out within a week. So if you want in, register now. The Brick has once again offered up an awesome 1st place package. The Gamer’s Room. A 55″ big screen, a leather reclining couch, a sound system and a brand new Xbox from Microsoft.
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