Protection Lists Revealed! New Projected Vegas Golden Knights Roster 2016-17

On June 18, 2017, the NHL released the protection lists for each team prior to the upcoming expansion draft on Wednesday June 21.  In this article, we analyze the official lists and are updating the projected roster. However, this list is by no means final; since teams will likely make deals with Vegas to protect additional players.  What follows is relatively close to our latest article about the expansion draft, with discrepancies arising mostly from incomplete source data.  That said, here is the current status of the expansion draft and the outcomes as we see it.

NOTE – Las Vegas has a chance (if management subscribes to our mistake minimization philosophy) of drafting a positive overall team AB.  If they are successful in so doing, they will have a nearly 100% chance of making the playoffs in their inaugural season!  Would that not be a coup?

As we will show here, that is a distinct possibility, even though the +22 AB score would likely translate to a much lower score (around break-even) with new players all playing for a new team, Las Vegas could be both exciting and far more successful than anyone thinks.

NOTE – Our analysis is predicated on Las Vegas building a competitive team now, as opposed to a great team five years from now.  We are assuming that they would rather be “pretty good” at the outset, as opposed to terrible for a few years until they can stockpile some generational talents trough trade and ensuing entry drafts. 

We shall see what they do come Wednesday night.


  • Forward 1= Andrew Cogliano
  • Forward 2= Ryan Getzlaf
  • Forward 3= Corey Perry
  • Forward 4= Rickard Rakell
  • Forward 5= Jakob Silfverberg
  • Forward 6= Antoine Vermette
  • Forward 7= Ryan Kesler
  • Defenseman 1= Kevin Bieksa
  • Defenseman 2= Cam Fowler
  • Defenseman 3= Hampus Lindholm
  • Goalie 1= John Gibson

Notable Exposed= Jared Boll, Patrick Eaves, Josh Manson, Sami Vatanen, Jonathan Bernier

Vegas Selection= Sami Vatanen (D) Salary=4.45 million – (+0.64 AB)

Explanation= Unless Bob Murray makes some sort of move, Vegas will get a Top 4 defenseman.


  • Skater 1= Nick Cousins
  • Skater 2=Antony Duclair
  • Skater 3=Jordan Martinook
  • Skater 4=Tobias Rieder
  • Skater 5=Oliver Ekman- Larsson
  • Skater 6=Alex Goligoski
  • Skater 7=Connor Murphy
  • Skater 8=Luke Schenn
  • Goalie 1=Chad Johnson

Notable Exposed= Alex Burmistrov, Jamie McGinn, Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan, Kevin Connauton, Louis Domingue, Zbynek Michalek

Vegas Selection= Alex Burmistrov (C) Salary= 1.55 million – (+0.18 AB)

Explanation= Best available in terms of AB. Unless Vegas selects Doan (for leadership purposes), Burmistrov is the best option.


  • Forward 1= David Backes
  • Forward 2= Patrice Bergeron
  • Forward 3= David Krejci
  • Forward 4= Brad Marchand
  • Forward 5= Riley Nash
  • Forward 6= David Pastrnak
  • Forward 7= Ryan Spooner
  • Defenseman 1= Zdeno Chara
  • Defenseman 2= Torey Krug
  • Defenseman 3= Kevan Miller
  • Goalie 1= Tuukka Rask

Notable Exposed= Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Dominic Moore, Drew Stafford, John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Malcom Subban

Vegas Selection= Adam McQuaid (D) Salary= 2.75 million- (+0.10 AB)

Explanation= This is definitely one of the harder decisions that McPhee will have to make. He will pass up on Beleskey (unless Sweeney makes a deal) and his contract and take a defenseman with a fairly high AB score and loads of experience.


  • Forward 1= Tyler Ennis
  • Forward 2= Marcus Foligno
  • Forward 3= Zemgus Girgensons
  • Forward 4= Evander Kane
  • Forward 5= Johan Larsson
  • Forward 6= Ryan O’Reilly
  • Forward 7= Kyle Okposo
  • Defenseman 1= Nathan Beaulieu
  • Defenseman 2= Jake McCabe
  • Defenseman 3= Rasmus Ristolainen
  • Goalie 1= Robin Lehner

Notable Exposed= Nicolas Deslauriers, Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson, Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Dmitry Kulikov

Vegas Selection= Matt Moulson (LW) Salary=5 million- (-0.64 AB)

Explanation= Moulson is by far the best all-around available player exposed here.  In our last article we thought Vegas would be able to take Evander Kane (which would have been a mistake in our view).  By protecting Kane and exposing Moulson, it is safe to place Buffalo on the list of teams that do not read or understand our mistake minimization thesis……


  • Forward 1= Mikael Backlund
  • Forward 2= Sam Bennett
  • Forward 3= Michael Ferlund
  • Forward 4= Michael Frolik
  • Forward 5= Johnny Gaudreau
  • Forward 6= Curtis Lazar
  • Forward 7= Sean Monahan
  • Defenseman 1= T.J Brodie
  • Defenseman 2= Mark Giordano
  • Defenseman 3= Dougie Hamilton
  • Goalie 1= Mike Smith

Notable Exposed= Lance Bouma, Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan, Dennis Wideman, Brian Elliott

Vegas Selection= Brian Elliott (G) Salary=2.7 million

Explanation= Elliott will be a solid backup for Marc-Andre Fleury in Vegas next season.  In our original article, we actually thought that Backlund and/or Ferland might have been available given our source data.  Thankfully for Calgary this is no longer the case.


  • Forward 1= Phillip Di Giuseppe
  • Forward 2= Elias Lindholm
  • Forward 3= Brock McGinn
  • Forward 4= Victor Rask
  • Forward 5= Jeff Skinner
  • Forward 6= Jordan Staal
  • Forward 7= Teuvo Teravainen
  • Defenseman 1= Trevor Carrick
  • Defenseman 2= Justin Faulk
  • Defenseman 3= Ryan Murphy
  • Goalie 1= Scott Darling

Notable Exposed= Cam Ward, Eddie Lack, Lee Stempniak, Klas Dahlbeck

Vegas Selection= Lee Stempniak (LW) =2.5 million- (+0.80 AB)

Explanation= There are better goalies out there than Lack and cheaper than Ward. Stempniak is the best remaining option.


  • Forward 1= Artem Anisimov
  • Forward 2= Ryan Hartman
  • Forward 3= Marian Hossa
  • Forward 4= Tomas Jurco
  • Forward 5= Patrick Kane
  • Forward 6=Jonathan Towes
  • Forward 7= Richard Panik
  • Defenseman 1= Niklas Hjalmarsson
  • Defenseman 2= Duncan Keith
  • Defenseman 3= Brent Seabrook
  • Goalie 1= Corey Crawford

Notable Exposed= Marcus Kruger, Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Vegas Selection= Brian Campbell (D) Salary=1.5 million- (+0.78 AB)

Explanation= Kruger has a large contract for a guy that only had 17 points this year. Meanwhile Campbell has a fairly high AB score for a defenseman and has a cheap contract, despite his age (38).


  • Forward 1= Sven Andrighetto
  • Forward 2= Blake Comeau
  • Forward 3= Matt Duchene
  • Forward 4= Rocco Grimaldi
  • Forward 5= Gabriel Landeskog
  • Forward 6= Nathan MacKinnon
  • Forward 7= Matt Nieto
  • Defenseman 1= Tyson Barrie
  • Defenseman 2= Erik Johnson
  • Defenseman 3= Nikita Zadorov
  • Goalie 1= Semyon Varlamov

Notable Exposed= Joe Colborne, Mikhail Grigorenko, Carl Soderberg, Eric Gelinas, Patrick Wiercioch, Calvin Pickard

Vegas Selection= Calvin Pickard (G)= Salary= 1 million

Explanation= Vegas says “do we have to?”  There is no one available on Colorado they (or anyone else) would want.  So by default, they might as well take Calvin Pickard, even though we are unsure of the odds of him making the Golden Knights.


  • Forward 1= Cam Atkinson
  • Forward 2= Brandon Dubinsky
  • Forward 3= Nick Foligno
  • Forward 4= Scott Hartnell
  • Forward 5= Boone Jenner
  • Forward 6= Alexander Wennberg
  • Forward 7= Brandon Saad
  • Defenseman 1= Ryan Murray
  • Defenseman 2= David Savard
  • Defenseman 3= Seth Jones
  • Goalie 1= Sergei Bobrovsky

Notable Exposed= Josh Anderson, Matt Calvert, William Karlsson, Sam Gagner, Jack Johnson, Joonas Korpisalo

Vegas Selection= Jack Johnson (D) Salary= 5 million (+4.25 AB)

Explanation= Vegas and Columbus were rumored to have a deal in place that said Vegas would receive a 1st round pick and Clarkson’s contract to select either Murray, Calvert, or Karlsson. However they didn’t expose Murray. Jack Johnson has and extremely high AB for a defenseman and Vegas might not pass that up (even though Johnson is a notorious mistake maximizer in his career prior to last season). However if the trade does happen. They will select William Karlsson.


  • Forward 1= Jamie Benn
  • Forward 2=Radek Faksa
  • Forward 3=Valeri Nichushkin
  • Forward 4=Brett Ritchie
  • Forward 5=Antoine Roussel
  • Forward 6=Tyler Seguin
  • Forward 7=Jason Spezza
  • Defenseman 1= Stephen Johns
  • Defenseman 2= John Klingberg
  • Defenseman 3= Esa Lindell
  • Goalie 1= Ben Bishop

Notable Exposed= Cody Eakin, Ales Hemsky, Patrick Sharp, Dan Hamhuis, Jamie Oleksiak, Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi

Vegas Selection= Jamie Oleksiak (D) Salary= 918k (-3.46 AB)

Explanation= This is another hard decision McPhee will have to make because most of these players aren’t cheap and none really have high AB scores. Sharp would seem like a no-brainer based off his past achievements and leadership. However he is getting paid 5 million a year for a -7.09 AB score which is among the worst in the NHL (he is indeed slowing down). Knowing this, Vegas should take Jamie Oleksiak because he is a young defenseman they can trade later if necessary and he is by far the cheapest player available.  Originally we thought Vegas would select one of their goalies and still view this as a possibility.


  • Forward 1=  Justin Abdelkader
  • Forward 2= Andreas Athanasiou
  • Forward 3= Anthony Mantha
  • Forward 4= Frans Nielsen
  • Forward 5= Gustav Nyquist
  • Forward 6= Tomas Tatar
  • Forward 7= Henrik Zetterberg
  • Defenseman 1= Danny Dekeyser
  • Defenseman 2= Mike Green
  • Defenseman 3= Nick Jensen
  • Goalie 1= Jimmy Howard

Notable Exposed= Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Riley Sheahan, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Petr Mrazek

Vegas Selection= Darren Helm (C) Salary=3.85 million (+0.44 AB)

Explanation= Darren Helm, patron saint of, was not protected by Detroit.  Yes, you read that right.  The performance of Helm and associated intangibles was a large part of the reason we created our website; few other guys in the league do what he does….period.  As a result, we enthusiastically state that Vegas will select Helm…….any other pick will be an affront to all things and no one wants that…..


  • Forward 1= Leon Draisaitl
  • Forward 2= Jordan Ebrele
  • Forward 3= Zach Kassian
  • Forward 4= Mark Letestu
  • Forward 5= Milan Lucic
  • Forward 6= Patrick Maroon
  • Forward 7= Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Defenseman 1= Oscar Klefbom
  • Defenseman 2= Adam Larsson
  • Defenseman 3= Andrej Sekera
  • Goalie 1= Cam Talbot

Notable Exposed= David Desharnais, Anton Lander, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Griffin Reinhart, Kris Russell

Vegas Selection= Kris Russell (D) Salary= UFA (+1.11 AB)

Explanation= It is a risk, however if Vegas can sign Russell, they get a good defenseman with a decent AB score instead of a forward with a large contract – NOTE – there is some disagreement among our editorial staff on this one – The editor in chief likes David Desharnais (despite his size.  5’7’?…..uh, on skates maybe).


  • Skater 1=  Alexander Barkov
  • Skater 2= Nick Bjugstad
  • Skater 3= Jonathan Huberdeau
  • Skater 4= Vincent Trocheck
  • Skater 5= Aaron Ekblad
  • Skater 6= Alex Petrovic
  • Skater 7= Mark Pysyk
  • Skater 8= Keith Yandle
  • Goalie 1= James Reimer

Notable Exposed= Roberto Luongo, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Marchessault, Thomas Vanek

Vegas Selection= Jonathan Marchessault (C) Salary= 750k -(-3.75 AB)

Explanation= Vegas gets arguably the best contract in hockey that isn’t entry level. Marchessault scored 30 goals this year.  Wait, whaaaaa?  Not Bobby LU?  If it were 10 years ago, definitely, but then again he is exposed for a reason, having to do with age.

Los Angeles

  • Skater 1= Jeff Carter
  • Skater 2=Anze Kopitar
  • Skater 3=Tanner Pearson
  • Skater 4=Tyler Toffoli
  • Skater 5=Drew Doughty
  • Skater 6=Alec Martinez
  • Skater 7=Jake Muzzin
  • Skater 8=Derek Forbort
  • Goalie 1= Jonathan Quick

Notable Exposed= Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Marian Gaborik, Jordan Nolan, Brayden McNabb, Matt Greene

Vegas Selection= Marian Gaborik (RW) Salary=4.375 million – (-2.86 AB)

Explanation= Gaborik is looking to have a bounce back year and is a veteran player that can help out Vegas’ rookies next season. He might even be captain. Injuries always remain a wild card here so we view this one as risky.


  • Forward 1= Charlie Coyle
  • Forward 2= Mikael Granlund
  • Forward3= Mikko Koivu
  • Forward 4=Nino Niederreiter
  • Forward 5=Zach Parise
  • Forward 6=Jason Pominville
  • Forward 7=Jason Zucker
  • Defenseman 1= Jonas Brodin
  • Defenseman 2=Jared Spurgeon
  • Defenseman 3=Ryan Suter
  • Goalie 1= Devan Dubnyk

Notable Exposed= Martin Hanzal, Erik Haula, Eric Staal, Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella, Darcy Kuemper

Vegas Selection= Eric Staal (C) Salary= 3.5 million (+4.33 AB)

Explanation= Vegas will pass on Dumba to take Eric Staal. Staal had a great season this year tallying 65 points in 82 games. Is he back to his career norms or did the talent in MIN mask his advancing age?


  • Forward 1= Paul Byron
  • Forward 2= Phillip Danault
  • Forward3=  Jonathan Drouin
  • Forward 4= Alex Galchenyuk
  • Forward 5= Brendan Gallagher
  • Forward 6= Max Pacioretty
  • Forward 7= Andrew Shaw
  • Defenseman 1= Jordie Benn
  • Defenseman 2= Jeff Petry
  • Defenseman 3= Shea Webber
  • Goalie 1= Carey Price

Notable Exposed= Daniel Carr, Alexander Radulov, Tomas Plekanec, Jacob de La Rose, Alexi Emelin, Andrei Markov, Torrey Mitchell

Vegas Selection= Torrey Mitchell (C) Salary=1.3 Million (+2.21 AB)

Explanation= Vegas will have to pass up on Radulov and Plekanec to save cap for Fleury, Neal, and Ryan. Radulov wanted to stay in MTL anyway so Vegas couldn’t sign him even if they wanted to do so. Mitchell has a decent AB score and a small contract.


  • Skater 1= Victor Arvidsson
  • Skater 2= Filip Forsberg
  • Skater 3= Calle Jarnkrok
  • Skater 4= Ryan Johansen
  • Skater 5= Mattais Ekholm
  • Skater 6= Ryan Ellis
  • Skater 7= Roman Josi
  • Skater 8= PK Subban
  • Goalie 1= Pekka Rinne

Notable Exposed= Mike Fisher, James Neal, Craig Smith, Colin Wilson

Vegas Selection= James Neal (LW) Salary= 5 million (-1.53 AB)

Explanation= Nashville decided to keep the defensive core intact. Unless GM of the year candidate David Poille makes a deal, Vegas might just have their star player.

New Jersey

  • Skater 1= Taylor Hall
  • Skater 2=Adam Henrique
  • Skater 3=Kyle Palmieri
  • Skater 4=Travis Zajac
  • Skater 5=Andy Greene
  • Skater 6=John Moore
  • Skater 7=Mirco Mueller
  • Skater 8=Damon Severson
  • Goalie 1=Cory Schneider

Notable Exposed= Beau Bennett, Michael Cammalleri, Jacob Josefson, Ben Lovejoy,

Vegas Selection= Beau Bennett (RW) RFA (-1.73 AB)

Explanation= Again, Vegas will pass up on Cammalleri and his 5 million dollar contract to take a cheaper option. This way they still have cap space for Bobby Ryan and Marc Andre- Fleury.

New York Islanders

  • Skater 1= Andrew Ladd
  • Skater 2= Anders Lee
  • Skater 3= John Tavares
  • Skater 4= Johnny Boychuk
  • Skater 5= Travis Hamonic
  • Skater 6= Nick Leddy
  • Skater 7= Adam Pelech
  • Skater 8= Ryan Pulock
  • Goalie 1= Thomas Greiss

Notable Exposed= Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey, Jason Chimera, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Nickolay Kulemin, Shane Prince, Brock Nelson, Calvin de Hann, Thomas Hickey, Dennis Seidenberg, Jaroslav Halak

Vegas Selection= Josh Bailey (LW) Salary=3.7 million (+1.18 AB)

Explanation= Bailey put up 56 points this season in 82 games and has a decent AB score. I think Vegas will overlook the contract and take the best player available here.  This is a hard one, and Vegas should ask the NHL to pretty, pretty please with sugar on top to select as many of the exposed Islanders as possible (well, let’s not get carried, away, but Josh Bailey and either Ryan Strome or Shane Prince would be really nice).

New York Rangers

  • Forward 1= Kevin Hayes
  • Forward 2= Chris Kreider
  • Forward3= J.T Miller
  • Forward 4= Rick Nash
  • Forward 5= Derek Stepan
  • Forward 6= Mika Zibanejad
  • Forward 7= Mats Zuccarello
  • Defenseman 1= Nick Holden
  • Defenseman 2= Ryan McDonagh
  • Defenseman 3= Marc Staal
  • Goalie 1= Henrik Lundqvist

Notable Exposed= Jesper Fast, Michael Grabner, Oscar Lindberg, Brandon Pirri, Kevin Klein, Antti Raanta

Vegas Selection= Michael Grabner (RW) Salary= 1.65 million (+7.09 AB)

Explanation= Potentially the best pick in the draft in terms of AB. Grabner has a cheap contract and he scored 30+ goals with a 7.09 AB. This is one of the best picks in the draft.  Editorial note – there is a possibility that the Knights take Raanta; for anyone paying attention to the Rangers this year, he was way better than Lundquist at times……


  • Forward 1= Derick Brassard
  • Forward 2= Ryan Dzingel
  • Forward3=  Mike Hoffman
  • Forward 4= JG Pageau
  • Forward 5= Zach Smith
  • Forward 6= Mark Stone
  • Forward 7= Kyle Turris
  • Defenseman 1= Cody Ceci
  • Defenseman 2= Erik Karlsson
  • Defenseman 3= Dion Phaneuf
  • Goalie 1= Craig Anderson

Notable Exposed= Bobby Ryan, Marc Methot, Alex Burrows, Clarke MacArthur,

Vegas Selection= Bobby Ryan (RW) Salary=7.25 million (1.26 AB)

Explanation= Vegas gets a perfect first line RW to play with the Russian center Shipachyov and James Neal. He was a huge part of Ottawa’s playoff run this season, but is muy expensivo.  However, you can’t put a price tag on arguably the best New Jersey born player in the history of the NHL (we said, arguably……we still love JVR here).


  • Forward 1= Sean Couturier
  • Forward 2= Valtteri Filppula
  • Forward 3= Claude Giroux
  • Forward 4= Scott Laughton
  • Forward 5= Brayden Schenn
  • Forward 6= Wayne Simmonds
  • Forward 7= Jakub Voracek
  • Defenseman 1= Shayne Gostisbehere
  • Defenseman 2= Radko Gudas
  • Defenseman 3= Brandon Manning
  • Goalie 1= Anthony Solarz

Notable Exposed= Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Mason, Michael Neuvirth

Vegas Selection= Matt Read (RW) Salary=3.625 million (+1.03 AB)

Explanation= None of the forwards Philly exposed put up stellar numbers this year. Matt Read has the highest AB out of them so Vegas will take him, unless they think Steve Mason is a gamer…..


  • Skater 1= Sidney Crosby
  • Skater 2= Patrick Hornqvist
  • Skater 3=  Phil Kessel
  • Skater 4= Evgeni Malkin
  • Skater 5= Brian Dumolin
  • Skater 6= Kris Letang
  • Skater 7= Olli Maatta
  • Skater 8= Justin Schultz
  • Goalie 1= Matt Murray

Notable Exposed= Marc Andre- Fleury, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Carl Hagelin, Tom Kuhnhackl, Chris Kunitz, Brian Rust, Ian Cole,

Vegas Selection= Marc Andre- Fleury (G) Salary=5.75 million

Explanation= While it is tempting to think that taking MAF is the easiest selection of the draft for Vegas, we somehow think that Ian Cole has to be on the Knights’ radar too. Even though Fleury has played a major role in the Penguins back to back championships and is probably the best goalie available in the draft, Cole is a good player.

San Jose

  • Forward 1= Ryan Carpenter
  • Forward 2= Logan Couture
  • Forward 3=  Jannik Hansen
  • Forward 4= Tomas Hertl
  • Forward 5= Melker Karlsson
  • Forward 6= Joe Pavelski
  • Forward 7= Chris Tierney
  • Defenseman 1= Justin Braun
  • Defenseman 2= Brent Burns
  • Defenseman 3= Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Goalie 1= Martin Jones

Notable Exposed= Mikkel Boedker, Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joel Ward, Paul Martin, Brendan Dillon, David Schlemko

Vegas Selection= David Schlemko (D) Salary= 2.5 million (+0.39 AB)

Explanation= Vegas needs to meet defenseman requirements now. Schlemko is 3 million cheaper than Martin and has the highest AB out of the 3 available.

St Louis

  • Forward 1= Patrick Berglund
  • Forward 2= Ryan Reaves
  • Forward 3= Jaden Schwartz
  • Forward 4= Vladimir Sobotka
  • Forward 5= Paul Stastny
  • Forward 6= Alex Steen
  • Forward 7= Vladimir Tarasenko
  • Defenseman 1= Jay Boumeester
  • Defenseman 2= Joel Edmundson
  • Defenseman 3= Alex Pietrangelo
  • Goalie 1= Jake Allen

Notable Exposed= Kenny Agostino, Kyle Brodziak, Dmitrij Jaskin, Jori Lehtera, Nail Yakupov, Magnus Paajarvi, Carl Gunnarsson

Vegas Selection=Magnus Paajarvi (LW) (RFA) (+3.62 AB)

Explanation= Paajarvi is the cheapest option and has the highest AB out of the available players.

Tampa Bay

  • Forward 1= Ryan Callahan
  • Forward 2= Tyler Johnson
  • Forward3=  Alex Killorn
  • Forward 4= Nikita Kucherov
  • Forward 5= Vladislav Namestnikov
  • Forward 6= Ondrej Palat
  • Forward 7= Steven Stamkos
  • Defenseman 1= Braydon Coburn
  • Defenseman 2= Victor Hedman
  • Defenseman 3= Anton Stralman
  • Goalie 1= Andrei Vasilevskiy

Notable Exposed= Yanni Gourde, Cedric Paquette, Andrej Sustr, Jason Garrison

Selection= Cedric Paquette (C) Salary=800k (-0.92 AB)

Explanation – I told Bracton they were going to keep Killorn.  Kids today, what are you going to do?


  • Forward 1= Tyler Bozak
  • Forward 2= Connor Brown
  • Forward 3= Nazem Kadri
  • Forward 4= Leo Komarov
  • Forward 5= Josh Leivo
  • Forward 6= Matt Martin
  • Forward 7= James Van Riemsdyk
  • Defenseman 1= Connor Carrick
  • Defenseman 2= Jake Gardiner
  • Defenseman 3= Morgan Rielly
  • Goalie 1= Frederik Andersen

Notable Exposed=Eric Fehr, Brendan Leipsic, Kerby Rychel, Matt Hunwick, Roman Polak

Vegas Selection= Matt Hunwick (D) Salary= 1.3 million (+0.58 AB)

Explanation= Vegas now has a true defensive defenseman for a cheap price with a positive AB. This pick is a no-brainer (wait, picking a Leafs defenseman is a “No brainer?”  Hmmm.


  • Forward 1= Sven Baertschi
  • Forward 2= Loui Eriksson
  • Forward 3= Markus Granlund
  • Forward 4= Bo Horvat
  • Forward 5= Daniel Sedin
  • Forward 6= Henrik Sedin
  • Forward 7= Brandon Sutter
  • Defenseman 1= Alex Edler
  • Defenseman 2= Erik Gudbranson
  • Defenseman 3= Chris Tanev
  • Goalie 1= Jacob Markstrom

Notable Exposed= Derek Dorsett, Jack Skille, Jayson Megna

Vegas Selection= Jayson Megna (C) UFA (+1.49 AB)

Explanation= Vegas gets one of the only players with a positive AB score on Vancouver and can sign him cheaply.


  • Forward 1=  Niklas Backstrom
  • Forward 2= Andre Burakovsky
  • Forward 3= Lars Eller
  • Forward 4= Marcus Johansson
  • Forward 5= Evgeny Kuznetsov
  • Forward 6= Alex Ovechkin
  • Forward 7= Tom Wilson
  • Defenseman 1= John Carlson
  • Defenseman 2= Matt Niskanen
  • Defenseman 3= Dmitry Orlov
  • Goalie 1= Braden Holtby

Notable Exposed= Jay Beagle, Justin Williams, TJ Oshie, Daniel Winnik, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, Phillip Grubauer

Vegas Selection= Nate Schmidt (D) Salary=875k (+2.94 AB)

Explanation= Vegas has met the requirements for forwards and goalies already. this puts them were they need to be as far as defenseman are concerned. It doesn’t hurt to take Schmidt’s cheap contract and high AB score.


  • Forward 1= Joel Armia
  • Forward 2= Andrew Copp
  • Forward 3= Bryan Little
  • Forward 4= Adam Lowry
  • Forward 5= Mathieu Perreault
  • Forward 6= Mark Scheifele
  • Forward 7= Blake Wheeler
  • Defenseman 1= Dustin Byfuglien
  • Defenseman 2= Tyler Myers
  • Defenseman 3= Jacob Trouba
  • Goalie 1= Connor Hellebuyck

Notable Exposed= Marko Dano, Quinton Howden, Shawn Matthias, Toby Enstrom, Michael Hutchinson, Ondrej Pavelec

Vegas Selection= Marko Dano (C) Salary=925k (+2.19 AB)

Explanation= Dano has the highest AB score out of the players Winnipeg exposed. If he doesn’t make the team in the fall, the Chicago Wolves just got a little better.  And BTW, Dano has been involved in trades for both Brandon Saad and Andrew Ladd… there’s that.

Projected Las Vegas Golden Knights 2017-18 Roster/Depth Chart


  1. Vadim Shipachyov (4.5 million) ) 0.0 AB
  2. Eric Staal (3.5 million) 4.33 AB
  3. Darren Helm (3.85 million) 0.44 AB
  4. Jonathan Marchessault (750k) -3.75 AB
  5. Torrey Mitchell (1.3 million) 2.21 AB
  6. Alex Burmistrov (1.55 million) 0.18 AB
  7. Cedric Paquette (800k) -0.92 AB

8.Marko Dano (925k) 2.19 AB

  1. Jayson Megna (UFA) 1.49 AB

Totals= (17.175 million) +6.17 AB

Left Wing

  1. James Neal (5 million) -1.53 AB
  2. Matt Moulson (5 million) -0.64 AB
  3. Josh Bailey (3.7 million) 1.18 AB
  4. Lee Stempniak (2.5 million) 0.80 AB
  5. Magnus Paajarvi (RFA) 3.62 AB

Totals= (16.2 million) +3.43 AB

Right Wing

  1. Bobby Ryan (7.25 million) 1.65 AB
  2. Marian Gaborik (4.375 million) -2.86 AB
  3. Michael Grabner (1.65 million) 7.09 AB
  4. Matt Read (3.625 million) 1.03 AB
  5. Beau Bennett (RFA) -1.73 AB

Totals=(16.9 million) +5.18 AB


  1. Sami Vatanen (4.45 million) 0.64 AB
  2. Jack Johnson (5 million) 4.25 AB
  3. Adam McQuaid (2.75 million) 0.10 AB
  4. Brian Campbell (1.5 million) 0.78 AB
  5. Nate Schmidt (875k) 2.94 AB
  6. Kris Russell (UFA) 1.11 AB
  7. David Schlemko (2.25 million) 0.39 AB

8.Matt Hunwick (1.3 million) 0.58 AB

  1. Jamie Oleksiak (918k) -3.46 AB

Totals= (19.043 million) +7.33 AB


  1. Marc-Andre Fleury (5.75 million) 0 AB
  2. Brian Elliott (2.75 million) 0 AB
  3. Calvin Pickard (1 million) 0 AB

Totals= 9.5 million


  • Total Amount Spent= 78.818 million (3.818 over cap)
  • Total Team AB= +22.11
  • Potential Pacific Division Standings 2017-18=
  1. Las Vegas
  2. Edmonton
  3. San Jose
  4. Anaheim
  5. Calgary
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Vancouver


Conclusion= If George McPhee and the Golden Knights do this right. They could make the playoffs next season with a team AB score of (+22.11) and win the Pacific Division. However they might have to make a move or two to get under the cap



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