Brodziak and Jaskin are players the Blues would certainly love to retain, but could be nice pieces for the Golden Knights to snag to fill immediate roles on the inaugural team. 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. So, as a hypothetical, a team that might be interested in Washington's Grubauer could incentivize Vegas to select him in the expansion draft and then subsequently trade him.
With the Knights having until Wednesday to submit their picks, here is a breakdown of the upcoming expansion draft including who's available - and why or why the Knights will or won't take a player.
For a franchise that missed the playoffs for the first time in more than two decades, the Red Wings appear to have no plans of rebuilding and instead want to try and do so on the fly.
No matter what strategy the Golden Knights use in the expansion draft, they're going to find the guys they want.
The unprotected list includes players eligible to become restricted or unrestricted free agents, which the Golden Knights have the option to sign over the next three days. Anaheim wants to keep defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson, Columbus wants to keep goalie Joonas Korpisalo, forward Josh Anderson, and defenseman Jack Johnson, and NY wants to keep forwards Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas. Not all teams will offer good players, but there are some quality skaters available.
The Islanders for one, reportedly have a deal in place that would send Vegas a first-round pick in order to pass on exposed forwards like Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome. Bjugstad led the team in points back in the 2013-2014 season, but has suffered several injuries since then, and fans have seen his production drop off significantly since signing a six-year, $24.6 million contract in December 2014.
The prospect of losing talent to Vegas is keeping a lot of National Hockey League general managers up at night.
"Everybody's going to have conversations", Brad Treliving of the Calgary Flames said. If Wilson can get the remaining $12 million of his contract off the books, it would give him more cap flexibility when free agency kicks off on July 1. "There's lots of chatter, but there's lots of teams in the bucket of not being able to do anything without impacting what their list is". Most importantly, each team could only protect one goalie. The San Jose Sharks got second- and fourth-round picks for Mirco Mueller and a fifth-rounder, a safeguard against losing a 22-year-old defenseman for nothing. They will identify the best asset on each team they can select.
Another unusual list is from the Minnesota Wild, who chose to protect Jonas Brodin over Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella. "You had a number of teams that had expansion issues that they were trying to deal with".
McPhee did say he and the Golden Knights won't snag a player until they talk to all the teams, which means he is willing to work with everyone so that no one is blindsided or gets a raw deal. Vegas could agree, for example, not to pick a certain player in exchange for a draft pick.