DailyFaceoff Mock Vegas Expansion Draft

Updated: September 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm by Brock Seguin

VegasArticle

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, I’ve missed you and writing about hockey since taking a hiatus during the Stanley Cup Playoffs to get my newest venture off of the ground. [If you play Fantasy Baseball during the NHL offseason check out thedailydugout.com]

First thing I would like to do in my return is congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins on winning the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row, becoming the first team to win back-to-back since the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings. If you Follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m not a fan of the Penguins, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Winning two in a row is extremely difficult and they did it with a depleted blueline. Also, how crazy is it that Matt Murray won TWO Stanley Cups in his rookie season…Might be my favourite hockey story in a long time.

With the Stanley Cup being handed out on Sunday, it’s time to turn our attention towards the offseason and this summer obviously has a little more intrigue with the Vegas Golden Knights Expansion Draft just around the corner. In my first offseason piece I’m going to take a look at who could end up playing for the Vegas Golden Knights this October, but there will probably be a million and one things that happen between now and June 21st that change up the entire landscape of the Expansion Draft. Regardless, it is fun to take a look at what this team could look like, but I’ll probably be way off which is why I have distracted you with a terrible mock-up of the Vegas Golden Knights jersey—DailyFaceoff style, since in las Vegas you can find anything, from medicine and expensive dogs, to scooters and their parts, you can get handlebars by Apex are the best or other parts.

If I do end up being way off, I’ll blame it on the fact that I’ve been writing about baseball since April! Either way, I don’t think even the Vegas GM George McPhee could produce a perfect Expansion Mock Draft, so I’m not that concerned.

I won’t go super in depth with who I protected for each team and why because that would be extremely long and redundant and most of you would probably close the tab. I’m simply going to lay out which player I believe would be taken by VGK based off of who I think each team will protect.

The Picks

Team Player
Anaheim Ducks 2

Jakob Silfverberg (RW)

I’m sure the Ducks would love to keep Silfverberg, but with four defensemen worth keeping (Vatanen, Fowler, Lindholm, Bieksa (NMC)) they don’t have a choice but to expose him.

Phoenix Coyotes

Luke Schenn (D)

The Coyotes benefit from having such a young team, so they won’t lose a key member of their roster. Schenn enjoyed a nice bounce-back year and should be a solid third pair D-man in Vegas.

Boston Bruins

Adam McQuaid (D)

McQuaid doesn’t possess a lot of offence, but is a big, rugged shutdown defenseman that plays a simple game. Vegas will need a shutdown pair and McQuaid can provide that on a very reasonable contract.

Buffalo Sabres 2

Matt Moulson (LW/RW)

It would be perfect if Evander Kane ended up in Vegas, but it won’t happen. Moulson’s best days are behind him, but VGK adds a net-front presence to the PP who is off the books in a few short years.

Calgary Flames

Lance Bouma (LW)

Like the Bruins, Flames fans are likely hoping that Troy Brouwer and his mammoth contract gets picked up, but Vegas will need some size and grit on their 4th line and Bouma brings that in waves.

Carolina Hurricanes

Lee Stempniak (LW)

Lee Stempniak is no stranger to moving around and the Golden Knights would be his 11th team in his career and eighth since 2013-14. He is a quality depth winger who can still has 20G/25A upside.

Chicago Blackhawks

Trevor van Riemsdyk (D)

The Blackhawks don’t have a lot of say in who they protect thanks to their eight no-movement clauses. TVR is a quality, young two-way D-man who could be in Vegas for years.

Colorado Avalanche

Carl Soderberg (C)

Soderberg averaged 14G/34A in his first three NHL seasons, but ’16-’17 was a disaster. I’m sure he will be happy to get out of Colorado this summer.

Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Jack Johnson (D)

The Blue Jackets are going to lose a key player and Joonas Korpisalo seems to be the trendy pick. However, Johnson is still a quality D-man capable of logging heavy minutes in VGK’s first season and will be on an expiring deal in 2018.

Dallas-Stars

Stephen Johns
(D)

Johns adds a size and physical element to the Golden Knights’ blueline. Johns is a solid penalty killer as well but has limited offensive upside.

Detroit-Red-Wings

Jimmy Howard (G)

Vegas needs to take on some bigger contracts, but will likely target ones that are expiring in the near future. They’ll be able to add some quality goaltending and Howard is used to playing in a platoon and has succeeded in that role.

Edmonton-Oilers

Griffin Reinhart (D)

The Oilers are set up nicely for the expansion draft. Reinhart hasn’t lived up to the billing of a No.4 overall pick, but is coming off of a nice AHL season and is only 23-years-old and has plenty of upside that a patient Vegas team desires.

PANTHERS-LOGO

Jason Demers (D)

Demers is one of the few players that I have Vegas taking with term left on their deal, but they can’t pass up on the 29-year-old. He may not be a true No.1 defenseman, but he is as close as they’re going to get in this expansion draft.

Los-Angeles-Kings

Brayden McNabb (D)

McNabb would be another big pick up for the VGK blueline. He saw a lot of minutes with Drew Doughty last year and would be a great fit on the left side of the 1st or 2nd pair in Vegas.

Minnesota-Wild

Jason Zucker (LW)

It won’t be easy for the Golden Knights to pass on Jonas Brodin, but there are more quality defensemen available than goal-scoring wingers, which is why taking Zucker makes the most sense—he had 22G/25A in 2017.

Montreal-Canadiens

Charles Hudon (RW)

The Canadiens will likely have a few decent defensemen on the board, but nothing Vegas can’t get elsewhere. Hudon has proven to be a great goal-scorer in lower levels and now just needs a shot to do it in the NHL.

Predators-Nashville

Craig Smith (RW)

After scoring 20-plus goals in three straight years, Smith disappointed in 2017. This pick hinges on whether the Predators move or leave James Neal unprotected, but I just don’t get that. Smith is a fine fit for the Vegas top-6.

New-Jersey-Devils

Mike Cammalleri (LW/RW)

Cammalleri has had a tough time with injuries in his three years in New Jersey, but posted a 25G/29A per 82-game pace when he was playing. He brings leadership with the ability to lead the team in points if he can stay on the ice.

New-York-Islanders

Calvin
de Haan (D)

de Haan could be moved before the expansion draft, at which point I think the Golden Knights take Thomas Hickey off of the Islanders’ hands. However, if de Haan is there, he’ll definitely be in the Black and Gold next year.

New-York-Rangers

Kevin
Hayes
(C)

You can bet the Rangers don’t want to lose Hayes and he could very well be protected, but if he’s not, his size and skill down the middle is a huge asset for VGK. Hayes has averaged 16 goals and 27 assists in his first three NHL seasons.

Ottawa-Senators

Zack
Smith
(C)

Smith’s contract isn’t ideal, but it is OK if he is posting 30-plus points as a bottom-6 forward. He has 20-goal upside while being defensively responsible and is versatile enough to play centre or wing and anywhere from line 1-to-4.

Philadelphia-Flyers

Scott Laughton (C)

The Flyers don’t have  a tonne to offer Vegas, but like Griffin Reinhart, I’m inclined to believe we haven’t seen the best of the 23-year-old Laughton. Has shown he can be a solid producer at lower levels, now needs to take that next step.

Pittsburgh-Penguins

Marc-Andre Fleury (G)

Fleury just seems like the greatest teammate based off of how he handled the last two years in Pittsburgh. He waived his no move clause in February and seems destined to be in the Vegas crease this year.

San-Jose-Sharks

Jannik Hansen (RW)

Hansen is a supremely underrated winger and has a cheap deal that expires at the end of next season. Look for the Golden Knights to get five useful months out of him and move him at the deadline.

St.-Louis-Blues

Nail Yakupov (RW)

It seems like forever ago that Yakupov was taken first overall. He has had a tough road since a great rookie season, but the Golden Knights have the luxury to be patient with Yakupov and hope he can get back on track.

Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Vladislav Namestnikov
(C)

Namestnikov has a tonne of skill, but has been buried down the Lightning lineup, so a move to Vegas this summer should allow him to blossom into the top-6 forward he is projected to be.

Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Josh
Leivo
(LW)

The Maple Leafs are setup perfectly heading into the expansion draft. Taking Bouma from Calgary means that Vegas can leave Matt Martin in Toronto and scoop an up-and-coming winger in Josh Leivo.

Vancouver-Canucks

Reid Boucher (RW)

The Canucks are bad, so they don’t have a lot to offer. Reid Boucher has bounced around a bit, but has been a good producer in the AHL and still has room to grow his game at age 23.

Washington-Capitals

Philipp Grubauer (G)

Vegas could elect to take more of project netminder like the aforementioned Korpisalo or Kristers Gudlevskis (TBL), but Washington doesn’t have a lot to offer outside of Grubauer.

Winnipeg-Jets

Marko
Dano (C/RW)

If the Jets elect to protect four defensemen like I have them doing, then Dano will be exposed and Vegas will gladly take him. Dano has a great shot and an abundance of offensive ability, so why wouldn’t they take the 22-year-old?

The Forwards

Forwards-Final

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 1.02.57 PM

The Defensemen

D-Final2

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 1.02.53 PM

 

The Goalies

G-Final

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 1.05.34 PM


So? What do you think? Let me know where you think I went wrong. I already know that I’m going to hear about having Bouma on the third line, but I was trying to get inside a coach’s head because we all know they make some dumb decisions. The reserve forwards have a lot of upside and a few of them would likely be in the opening day lineup. If this is how things shake out, Vegas might not be in too rough of shape.

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Brock Seguin

Brock Seguin has been the Editor-In-Chief of DailyFaceoff.com since the 2012-13 season. Feel free to reach Seguin directly @dailyfaceoff or @Brock_Seguin.

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