Vegas holds all the cards with NHL expansion draft list out

Only in this case, he had his pick of the presents, which ended up including big-ticket items like James Neal, Eric Staal, Sami Vatanen, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tomas Plekanec, Josh Manson, Matt Dumba, Bobby Ryan and Petr Mrazek.

The NHL is set to have their first expansion draft in 17 years Wednesday night as the Las Vegas Golden Knights get ready for their first season by selecting 30 players.

"I'm really pleased with what's available", McPhee said. The lists will be made public on Sunday and on Wednesday, McPhee and his staff will officially announce their selections that will compose the bulk of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.

"That's really one of the things we wanted to leverage", Treliving said.

That said, what we learned from McPhee is that his intention is to build the Golden Knights through the NHL Entry Draft and over the next four-to-five years.

In other words, Vegas will be in the driver's seat for the next few days, bartering with clubs that wish to hang on to the players on their unprotected list in exchange for giving up prospects and draft picks. This game McPhee is trying to play turns a promising expansion draft pick into an impressive haul that could make the team more competitive sooner. That's a quality forward available for the Golden Knights if they would like to go down that route. Maybe a deal is in place to protect one or the other and ensure McPhee stays away from the breadth of forwards who've been left exposed.

Why he will not: Also like Thornton, Marleau likely wants to play for a team that's a contender if he doesn't return to the Sharks.

There wasn't much activity that was confirmed Saturday. It may not matter now that they have Mikhail Sergachev who joined the organization via trade. Las Vegas won't be able to pick from the protected players but they'll be taking one unprotected player from each team.

It's believed the Knights will also take on David Clarkson's contract as part of the trade.

The official draft rules state the Golden Knights must select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, have to reach at least 60 percent of last year's $73 million salary cap ($43.8 million) and need to take at least 20 players under contract for next season.

Florida also left captain Derek MacKenzie and veteran forwards Jussi Jokinen and Colton Sceviour available.

Why he will not: Like we mentioned in regards to Dillon, there are probably better options on the blue line than a 36-year-old in the twilight of his career.

"People have identified people on other clubs they'd like to have", McPhee said.

But McPhee, the ever so nice human that he is, took the time on Saturday to let all National Hockey League teams know that he'd give each club the opportunity to keep a player. Golden Knights GM George McPhee sounds excited about the situation, and you can see why given all the picks he's going to accumulate for this young franchise.

"Every team in this league has a chance to protect their roster", McPhee said. "We will not make a claim with any club before we talk to the club".

All 30 existing teams must submit their protected list for the upcoming expansion draft by Saturday afternoon, which has made for a week of trade chatter and speculation as GMs jockey for position. "They don't want to lose two players if you make a deal".



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