George McPhee’s reign as the most powerful man in hockey may have come to an end Wednesday morning, but the Vegas Golden Knights general manager did plenty of damage before the 10 a.m. deadline to submit his picks for the expansion draft.
The NHL’s newest franchise poached one player from each of the 30 other teams around the league.
Through side deals — McPhee is said to have handshake agreements for at least six trades — and a little creativity, it looks like the Golden Knights will come away with plenty of assets. The official roster announcement will come after 8 p.m. from the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas, but plenty has leaked out in the hours beforehand.
Even then, it’s expected that McPhee will flip at least some of the players listed on the initial roster when league-wide trading re-opens Thursday morning, so this is far from a finalized list you’ll see take the ice when Vegas opens its inaugural season Oct. 6 against the Stars.
Here’s everything we know about the roster construction so far:
William Karlsson, via Blue Jackets (Columbus Dispatch)
Columbus will trade this year’s first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) as an assurance Vegas won’t select forward Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson and backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, the Dispatch reports.
Cody Eakin, via Stars
Tomas Nosek, via Red Wings
Jonathan Marchessault, via Panthers
Vegas also acquired scoring winger Reilly Smith from the Panthers in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick, the teams annonced. Smith took a step back last season with just 37 points in 80 games and still has five years remaining on his contract at $5 million AAV. Marchessault was the price to pay to offload that deal.
Eric Haula, via Wild (TSN)
Haula, a restricted free agent, is headed to Vegas after reportedly signing a multi-year contract extension. According to TSN, Minnesota agreed to trade prospect Alex Tuch and a future draft pick so the Knights wouldn’t take coveted defensemen Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella and forward Eric Staal.
Oscar Lindberg, via Rangers
David Perron, via Blues
James Neal, via Predators
Neal, coming off a ninth consecutive 20-goal season, is a perfect example of a player who McPhee may flip to another team for prospects and/or draft picks.
Teemu Pulkkinen, via Coyotes
William Carrier, via Sabres
In selecting Carrier, Vegas also acquired a 2017 sixth-round draft pick, the team announced. Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark was believed to be their initial target.
Connor Brickley, via Hurricanes
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, via Flyers
Chris Thorburn, via Jets
Brendan Leipsic, via Maple Leafs
Clayton Stoner, via Ducks (TSN)
Anaheim also has agreed to trade D Shea Theodore to Vegas as incentive to pass on exposed blue liners Josh Manson and Sami Vatanen, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Deryk Engelland, via Flames
Engelland, 35, is a free agent July 1.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, via Blackhawks (TSN)
Vegas has been expected to acquire forward Marcus Kruger from Chicago via trade in an attempt to clear cap space. That may no longer be the case after the team learned Wednesday veteran Marian Hossa won’t play in 2017-18, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Alexei Emelin, via Canadiens
Griffin Reinhart, via Oilers
David Schlemko, via Sharks
Colin Miller, via Bruins
Luca Sbisa, via Canucks
Jon Merrill, via Devils
Brayden McNabb, via Kings
Jason Garrison, via Lightning
Marc Methot, via Senators
Marc-Andre Fleury, via Penguins (TSN)
Fleury has been the long-rumored pick as a face of the franchise for the Knights after waiving his no-movement clause in a huge favor to Pittsburgh. TSN reported the Penguins will trade an undisclosed draft pick to make sure Vegas selects Fleury, who will count $5.75 million against the cap the next two seasons.
Jean-Francois Berube, via Islanders
Vegas also acquired forward Mikhail Grabovski, the Islanders’ first-round draft pick this year (No. 15 overall) and a second-rounder in 2019, the teams announced. The steep price was required for the Knights to lay off key unprotecteds like Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan.
Calvin Pickard, via Avalanche