NHL Draft Preview: Mock Draft

NHL Draft Preview: Mock Draft

Veteran forward James Neal and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury headlined the expansion draft selections of the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards.

Gerard Gallant, center, poses for photographers with Bill Foley, left, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, and George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights general manager, Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Las Vegas.

The veteran National Hockey League defenceman - and former Vancouver Canuck - was selected Wednesday night by the league's newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, in the league's expansion draft.

The Knights had three picks in the second round and set the tone by drafting 6-foot-6-inch defenseman Nicolas Hague with their first pick at No. 34. The Ducks traded the promising Theodore to stop Vegas from selecting defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson - and to persuade the Golden Knights to take Clayton Stoner instead, removing his onerous contract from the five-time defending Pacific Division champions' books. Goaltending performance is so highly dependent on team performance that it's a bit of a fool's errand to try and forecast too much of them before we know the style of play the Golden Knights will favour. He played with Shipachyov in Russian Federation, and the hope is he will eventually come to Las Vegas to play with him again.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights draft table at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, June 23, 2017.

Numerous trades between teams are expected to be announced after a trade/waiver freeze expires this morning. The Penguins visit the Chicago Blackhawks on October 5 in a matchup of the only teams to win the Cup three times in the salary-cap era. When he was 10, his youth team played in a tournament in Sin City.

He's going to see at least bottom four minutes which isn't bad for a defenseman of his caliber, he can help shut down players and notch in some points here and there so a fifth-round pick two years from now isn't a bad cost for the club. "I think we have a real chance to grow together as a franchise".

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Vegas also picked up Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison, who had nine power-play goals last season, along with forward Nikita Gusev, a 2017 second-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick for expansion-draft considerations. "I believe fans are really going to like the team, and the trades and the draft picks and the prospects that we have".

Now situated on the expansion Las Vegas team, Marchessault isn't only a top-six player, he might be the best on the entire roster.

The Golden Knights were allowed to reveal certain trades made with other teams to dissuade Vegas from picking particular players, and additional deals are likely to be revealed throughout the week.

Then Vegas makes the first pick in franchise history. "I think it will go well".

Dumba is already skating over 20 minutes a night and is heading into his fifth season (228 games played), while just three out of the 47 defenseman drafted in the third round since the 2012 draft have more than 100 National Hockey League games played: Colton Parayko, Brett Pesce and Shayne Gostisbehere.

"I've always felt if you're good enough, you're big enough", McPhee said.

The Golden Knights were able to capture first-round picks from the Winnipeg Jets (13th overall) and New York Islanders (15th overall) to go along with the sixth overall pick of their own. But you can call it a wisely-contested series of at-bats that should raise the Golden Knights' overall hitting average in the years ahead. "They're going to be pleasantly surprised". I've been fortunate to play there for 14 years, but I'm very thankful for this opportunity to be in Vegas with a new team and a new organization.

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