Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grading the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Draft

            The Vegas Golden Knights have taken their first cracks at comprising an NHL roster tonight. There were notable names like James Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Jonathan Marchessault that have been picked up by Vegas. Remember that some of these players won't be sticking around with the Golden Knights. So how did Sin City's inaugural pro sports team do?

What I Liked: Vegas added plenty of goal scorers like center Marchessault, forward David Perron, and right wing James Neal. So the Knights should have no problem putting the puck in the net. General Manager George McPhee has stated that he wants to contend right away and he seems well on his way to doing so. The blue line has some experienced players who can hit opponents hard and block shots. Fleury is also a nice veteran pickup between the pipes for the Golden Knights. Vegas also added some prospects such as Tomas Nosek, which should help Vegas with the first youth movement.
Growing Pains: The team does have plenty of veterans on the squad, but the team mostly consists of >26 year-olds. However, that's usually the case for many expansion teams drafting players. Players like Neal and Methot will add leadership to a young squad.
Overall Grade: A-: It wasn't a bad draft and the Golden Knights' front office hit the notes they needed to hit. They went for the experienced veterans while picking up young players. Vegas also acquired numerous draft picks, leaving a blueprint for future success. The draft has left people like Mario Lemieux in awe, leaving many to believe that the Golden Knights are serious about competing.

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