2017-06-19 / Sports

Vegas receives the list

Golden Knights hold all the cards with NHL expansion draft list out
BY JOHN WAWROW
The Associated Press

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHL’s expansion draft list being released.

“The most fun I’ve ever had in hockey,” McPhee said in a video posted of him driving to the team’s headquarters on Sunday.

And that was before McPhee learned of the high-profile group of players he’ll have to choose from — limited to one from each of the 30 teams — in stocking the Golden Knights roster before submitting his list on Wednesday.

There’s a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie in Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury available and several 20-plus-goal-scorers in Nashville’s James Neal and Minnesota’s Eric Staal. As there’s a number of top defensemen exposed such as Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen and Ottawa’s Marc Methot.

“The issue for us isn’t going to be, ‘Can we fill out the roster?’” McPhee told reporters after the list was released. “It would be, ‘Do we have too many players?’ There are a lot of good players there.”

Vegas is holding all the cards while the rest of the NHL comes to a full stop in awaiting McPhee to determine his selections over a three-day stretch during which the Golden Knights are the only team allowed to make trades and sign pending free agents.

McPhee wasn’t prepared to discuss individual players when specifically asked about Fleury, but noted there were no surprises based on the numerous mock drafts the Golden Knights conducted over the past few months. The one thing that didn’t materialize was a large number of trades happening involving players teams didn’t want to expose.

That benefits the Golden Knights because it maintained a deeper pool of talent available.

“We really like what we’re looking at right now,” McPhee said. “We expect to put a good, entertaining club on the ice.”

Fleury was left unprotected by Pittsburgh after he agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract. The Penguins instead protected Matt Murray a week after the second-year goalie led them to win their second consecutive championship.

Vatanen, who will miss the start of the season after having shoulder surgery, and Josh Manson were the odd men out in Anaheim, because the Ducks couldn’t protect their all their talented core of defensemen.

The Predators were put in a bind in being forced to expose Neal, a 10-time 20- goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman.

Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles’s Dustin Brown, Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo’s Zach Bogosian and Dallas’ Dan Hamhuis are also available.

There’s also a wealth of proven goaltenders available given that teams were required to expose at least one. Aside from Fleury, other goalies available are Florida’s Roberto Luongo, Detroit’s Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth.

The unprotected list includes players eligible to become restricted or unrestricted free agents. Any pending free agent signed would count as Vegas’ expansion-draft selection from that player’s team.

San Jose has two notable veteran free agents in Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But it’s unlikely the two would consider joining an expansion team at this point in their respective careers.

What’s uncertain is how many trades the Golden Knights will reach with teams to influence which player Vegas selects or avoids in exchange for draft picks, something McPhee hopes to stockpile.

“We’ve got lots of things lined up, but until we see everything, we don’t have anything,” McPhee said. He intends to inform teams who Vegas is selecting in the event they want to strike a deal to have the Golden Knights choose another player.

There’s also nothing barring Vegas from making deals to select a player and trade him to another team.

The Islanders were the only team that protected five defensemen: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, leaving forwards Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome and defensemen Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey available.

Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the team’s payroll structure under the salary cap. Ryan has five years left on a seven-year $50.8 million contract and represents a $7- plus-million cap hit.

Based on previous mock drafts, McPhee doesn’t expect the Golden Knights to have any difficulty getting to the NHL’s minimum payroll of 60 percent of the $75 million salary cap.

The release of the teams’ protected lists kicks off a busy two-week stretch for the NHL. The league’s annual awards ceremonies will be held in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then teams will gather in Chicago for the two-day entry draft, which opens on Friday.

Then comes the start of free agency, which opens on July 1.

NHL available players

Expansion Draft: Wednesday, June 21At T-Mobile Arena, Las VegasOne player selected per club ANAHEIM — Forwards: Spencer Abbott, Jared Boll, Sam Carrick, Patrick Eaves, Emerson Etem, Ryan Garbutt, Max Gortz, Nicolas Kerdiles, Andre Petersson, Logan Shaw, Nick Sorensen, Nate Thompson, Corey Tropp, Chris Wagner. Defensemen: Nate Guenin, Korbinian Holzer, Josh Manson, Jaycob Megna, Jeff Schultz, Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen. Goalies: Jonathan Bernier, Jhonas Enroth, Ryan Faragher, Matt Hackett, Dustin Tokarski. ARIZONA — Forwards: Alexander Burmistrov, Shane Doan, Tyler Gaudet, Peter Holland, Josh Jooris, Jamie McGinn, Jeremy Morin, Mitchell Moroz, Chris Mueller, Teemu Pulkkinen, Brad Richardson, Garret Ross, Branden Troock, Radim Vrbata, Joe Whitney. Defensemen: Kevin Connauton, Jamie McBain, Zbynek Michalek, Jarred Tinordi. Goalies: Louis Domingue. BOSTON — Forwards: Matt Beleskey, Brian Ferlin, Jimmy Hayes, Alex Khokhlachev, Dominic Moore, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Drew Stafford. Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant, John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow. Goalies: Anton Khudobin, Malcolm Subban. BUFFALO — Forwards: William Carrier, Nicolas Deslauriers, Brian Gionta, Derek Grant, Justin Kea, Matt Moulson, Cal O'Reilly, Cole Schneider. Defensemen: Brady Austin, Mathew Bodie, Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk, Taylor Fedun, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Dmitry Kulikov. Goalies: Anders Nilsson, Linus Ullmark. CALGARY — Forwards: Brandon Bollig, Lance Bouma, Troy Brouwer, Alex Chiasson, Freddie Hamilton, Emile Poirier, Hunter Shinkaruk, Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg, Linden Vey. Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Culkin, Deryk Engelland, Michael Kostka, Brett Kulak, Ladislav Smid, Michael Stone, Dennis Wideman, Tyler Wotherspoon. Goalies: Brian Elliott, Tom McCollum. CAROLINA — Forwards: Bryan Bickell, Connor Brickley, Patrick Brown, Erik Karlsson, Danny Kristo, Jay McClement, Andrew Miller, Andrej Nestrasil, Joakim Nordstrom, Lee Stempniak, Brendan Woods. Defensemen: Klas Dahlbeck, Dennis Robertson, Philip Samuelsson, Matt Tennyson. Goalies: Daniel Altshuller, Eddie Lack, Michael Leighton, Cam Ward. CHICAGO — Forwards: Kyle Baun, Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Michael Latta, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen, Jordin Tootoo. Defensemen: Brian Campbell, Dillon Fournier, Shawn Lalonde, Johnny Oduya, Ville Pokka, Michal Rozsival, Viktor Svedberg, Trevor van Riemsdyk. Goalies: Mac Carruth, Jeff Glass. COLORADO — Forwards: Troy Bourke, Gabriel Bourque, Rene Bourque, Joe Colborne, Turner Elson, Felix Girard, Mikhail Grigorenko, Samuel Henley, John Mitchell, Jim O'Brien, Brendan Ranford, Mike Sislo, Carl Soderberg. Defensemen: Mark Barberio, Mat Clark, Eric Gelinas, Cody Goloubef, Duncan Siemens, Fedor Tyutin, Patrick Wiercioch. Goalies: Joe Cannata, Calvin Pickard, Jeremy Smith. COLUMBUS — Forwards: Josh Anderson, Alex Broadhurst, Matt Calvert, Zac Dalpe, Sam Gagner, Brett Gallant, William Karlsson, Lauri Korpikoski, Lukas Sedlak, T.J. Tynan, Daniel Zaar. Defensemen: Marc-Andre Bergeron, Scott Harrington, Jack Johnson, Kyle Quincey, John Ramage, Jaime Sifers, Ryan Stanton. Goalies: Oscar Dansk, Anton Forsberg, Joonas Korpisalo. DALLAS — Forwards: Adam Cracknell, Justin Dowling, Cody Eakin, Ales Hemsky, Jiri Hudler, Curtis McKenzie, Mark McNeill, Travis Morin, Patrick Sharp, Gemel Smith, Matej Stransky. Defensemen: Mattias Backman, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ludwig Bystrom, Nick Ebert, Justin Hache, Dan Hamhuis, Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn, Dustin Stevenson. Goalies: Henri Kiviaho, Maxime Lagace, Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi, Justin Peters. DETROIT — Forwards: Louis-Marc Aubry, Mitch Callahan, Colin Campbell, Martin Frk, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Tomas Nosek, Riley Sheahan, Ben Street, Eric Tangradi. Defensemen: Adam Almquist, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Brian Lashoff, Dylan McIlrath, Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul. Goalies: Jared Coreau, Petr Mrazek, Edward Pasquale, Jake Paterson. EDMONTON — Forwards: David Desharnais, Justin Fontaine, Matt Hendricks, Roman Horak, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Lander, Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick, Zach Pochiro, Benoit Pouliot, Henrik Samuelsson, Bogdan Yakimov. Defensemen: Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference, Mark Fraser, Eric Gryba, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Griffin Reinhart, Kris Russell, Dillon Simpson. Goalies: Laurent Brossoit, Jonas Gustavsson. FLORIDA — Forwards: Graham Black, Tim Bozon, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, Derek MacKenzie, Jonathan Marchessault, Colton Sceviour, Michael Sgarbossa, Reilly Smith, Brody Sutter, Paul Thompson, Shawn Thornton, Thomas Vanek. Defensemen: Jason Demers, Jakub Kindl, Brent Regner, Reece Scarlett, MacKenzie Weegar. Goalies: Reto Berra, Sam Brittain, Roberto Luongo. LOS ANGELES — Forwards: Andy Andreoff, Justin Auger, Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Andrew Crescenzi, Nic Dowd, Marian Gaborik, Jarome Iginla, Trevor Lewis, Michael Mersch, Jordan Nolan, Teddy Purcell, Devin Setoguchi, Nick Shore. Defensemen: Matt Greene, Vincent Loverde, Brayden McNabb, Cameron Schilling, Rob Scuderi, Zach Trotman. Goalies: Jack Campbell, Jeff Zatkoff. MINNESOTA — Forwards: Brady Brassart, Patrick Cannone, Ryan Carter, Kurtis Gabriel, Martin Hanzal, Erik Haula, Zack Mitchell, Jordan Schroeder, Eric Staal, Chris Stewart, Ryan White. Defensemen: Victor Bartley, Matt Dumba, Christian Folin, Guillaume Gelinas, Alexander Gudbranson, Gustav Olofsson, Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella, Mike Weber. Goalies: Johan Gustafsson, Darcy Kuemper, Alex Stalock. MONTREAL — Forwards: Daniel Carr, Connor Crisp, Jacob De La Rose, Bobby Farnham, Brian Flynn, Max Friberg, Charles Hudon, Dwight King, Stefan Matteau, Torrey Mitchell, Joonas Nattinen, Steve Ott, Tomas Plekanec, Alexander Radulov, Chris Terry. Defensemen: Brandon Davidson, Alexei Emelin, Keegan Lowe, Andrei Markov, Nikita Nesterov, Zach Redmond, Dalton Thrower. Goalies: Al Montoya. NASHVILLE — Forwards: Pontus Aberg, Cody Bass, Vernon Fiddler, Mike Fisher, Cody McLeod, James Neal, PA Parenteau, Adam Payerl, Mike Ribeiro, Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons, Craig Smith, Trevor Smith, Austin Watson, Colin Wilson, Harry Zolnierczyk. Defensemen: Taylor Aronson, Anthony Bitetto, Stefan Elliott, Petter Granberg, Brad Hunt, Matt Irwin, Andrew O'Brien, Adam Pardy, Jaynen Rissling, Scott Valentine, Yannick Weber. Goalies: Marek Mazanec. NEW JERSEY — Forwards: Beau Bennett, Michael Cammalleri, Carter Camper, Luke Gazdic, Shane Harper, Jacob Josefson, Ivan Khomutov, Stefan Noesen, Marc Savard, Devante Smith-Pelly, Petr Straka, Mattias Tedenby, Ben Thomson, David Wohlberg. Defensemen: Seth Helgeson, Viktor Loov, Ben Lovejoy, Andrew MacWilliam, Jon Merrill, Dalton Prout, Karl Stollery, Alexander Urbom. Goalies: Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood. N.Y. ISLANDERS — Forwards: Josh Bailey, Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton, Jason Chimera, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta, Ben Holmstrom, Bracken Kearns, Nikolay Kulemin, Brock Nelson, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom. Defensemen: Calvin de Haan, Matthew Finn, Jesse Graham, Thomas Hickey, Loic Leduc, Scott Mayfield, Dennis Seidenberg. Goalies: Jean- Francois Berube, Christopher Gibson, Jaroslav Halak. N.Y. RANGERS — Forwards: Taylor Beck, Chris Brown, Daniel Catenacci, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Carl Klingberg, Oscar Lindberg, Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel. Defensemen: Adam Clendening, Tommy Hughes, Steven Kampfer, Kevin Klein, Michael Paliotta, Brendan Smith, Chris Summers. Goalies: Magnus Hellberg, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski. OTTAWA — Forwards: Casey Bailey, Mike Blunden, Alexandre Burrows, Stephane Da Costa, Christopher DiDomenico, Nikita Filatov, Chris Kelly, Clarke MacArthur, Max McCormick, Chris Neil, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Rupert, Bobby Ryan, Viktor Stalberg, Phil Varone, Tommy Wingels. Defensemen: Mark Borowiecki, Fredrik Claesson, Brandon Gormley, Jyrki Jokipakka, Marc Methot, Patrick Sieloff, Chris Wideman, Mikael Wikstrand. Goalies: Mike Condon, Chris Driedger, Andrew Hammond. PHILADELPHIA — Forwards: Pierre- Edouard Bellemare, Greg Carey, Chris Conner, Boyd Gordon, Taylor Leier, Colin McDonald, Andy Miele, Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Chris VandeVelde, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise, Eric Wellwood. Defensemen: Mark Alt, TJ Brennan, Michael Del Zotto, Andrew MacDonald, Will O'Neill, Jesper Pettersson, Nick Schultz. Goalies: Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth. PITTSBURGH — Forwards: Josh Archibald, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Jean- Sebastien Dea, Carl Hagelin, Tom Kuhnhackl, Chris Kunitz, Kevin Porter, Bryan Rust, Tom Sestito, Oskar Sundqvist, Dominik Uher, Garrett Wilson, Scott Wilson. Defensemen: Ian Cole, Frank Corrado, Trevor Daley, Tim Erixon, Cameron Gaunce, Ron Hainsey, Stuart Percy, Derrick Pouliot, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Streit, David Warsofsky. Goalies: Marc-Andre Fleury. ST. LOUIS — Forwards: Kenny Agostino, Andrew Agozzino, Kyle Brodziak, Jordan Caron, Jacob Doty, Landon Ferraro, Alex Friesen, Evgeny Grachev, Dmitrij Jaskin, Jori Lehtera, Brad Malone, Magnus Paajarvi, David Perron, Ty Rattie, Scottie Upshall, Nail Yakupov. Defensemen: Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Butler, Morgan Ellis, Carl Gunnarsson, Jani Hakanpaa, Petteri Lindbohm, Reid McNeill. Goalies: Jordan Binnington, Carter Hutton. SAN JOSE — Forwards: Mikkel Boedker, Barclay Goodrow, Micheal Haley, Patrick Marleau, Buddy Robinson, Zack Stortini, Joe Thornton, Joel Ward. Defensemen: Dylan DeMelo, Brenden Dillon, Dan Kelly, Paul Martin, David Schlemko. Goalies: Aaron Dell, Troy Grosenick, Harri Sateri. TAMPA BAY — Forwards: Carter Ashton, Michael Bournival, J.T. Brown, Cory Conacher, Erik Condra, Gabriel Dumont, Stefan Fournier, Byron Froese, Yanni Gourde, Mike Halmo, Henri Ikonen, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Tye McGinn, Greg McKegg, Cedric Paquette, Tanner Richard, Joel Vermin, Defensemen: Dylan Blujus, Jake Dotchin, Jason Garrison, Slater Koekkoek, Jonathan Racine, Andrej Sustr, Matt Taormina, Luke Witkowski. Goalies: Peter Budaj, Kristers Gudlevskis, Jaroslav Janus, Mike McKenna. TORONTO — Forwards: Brian Boyle, Eric Fehr, Colin Greening, Seth Griffith, Teemu Hartikainen, Brooks Laich, Brendan Leipsic, Joffrey Lupul, Milan Michalek, Kerby Rychel, Ben Smith. Defensemen: Andrew Campbell, Matt Hunwick, Alexey Marchenko, Martin Marincin, Steve Oleksy, Roman Polak. Goalies: Antoine Bibeau, Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks. VANCOUVER — Forwards: Reid Boucher, Michael Chaput, Joseph Cramarossa, Derek Dorsett, Brendan Gaunce, Alexandre Grenier, Jayson Megna, Borna Rendulic, Anton Rodin, Drew Shore, Jack Skille, Michael Zalewski. Defensemen: Alex Biega, Philip Larsen, Tom Nilsson, Andrey Pedan, Luca Sbisa. Goalies: Richard Bachman, Ryan Miller. WASHINGTON — Forwards: Jay Beagle, Chris Bourque, Paul Carey, Brett Connolly, Stanislav Galiev, Tyler Graovac, Garrett Mitchell, Liam O'Brien, T.J. Oshie, Zach Sill, Chandler Stephenson, Christian Thomas, Nathan Walker, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik. Defensemen: Karl Alzner, Taylor Chorney, Cody Corbett, Darren Dietz, Christian Djoos, Tom Gilbert, Aaron Ness, Brooks Orpik, Nate Schmidt, Kevin Shattenkirk. Goalies: Pheonix Copley, Philipp Grubauer. WINNIPEG — Forwards: Marko Dano, Quinton Howden, Scott Kosmachuk, Tomas Kubalik, JC Lipon, Shawn Matthias, Ryan Olsen, Anthony Peluso, Chris Thorburn. Defensemen: Ben Chiarot, Toby Enstrom, Brenden Kichton, Julian Melchiori, Paul Postma, Brian Strait, Mark Stuart. Goalies: Michael Hutchinson, Ondrej Pavelec

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