Sign up for a free Courant newsletter for a chance to win $100 P.C. Richard gift card

NHL expansion (mock) draft: Say goodbye to Trevor van Riemsdyk

The exercise: Draft as if you're running the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The actual expansion draft is Wednesday night.

The rules: The Golden Knights will select 30 players, one from each established team, and must select a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies from the unprotected lists.

Vegas Golden Rosenblooms

Steve Rosenbloom's thinking: I don't think my Golden Knights will win the Stanley Cup this year. Sorry to break it to you, kids. So, I looked for players who will be sought by Cup contenders. Combining that trade value with my belief that teams are built from the goal out explains why I drafted five goalies, 11 defensemen and 14 forwards.

  • Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins — Some team will want to trade for a Stanley Cup-winning goalie.

Petr Mrazek, Red Wings — Some team will want to trade for a veteran goalie after I trade Fleury.

Carter Hutton, Blues — Nothing says trade value like young, cheap and fills a backup spot.

Antti Raanta, Rangers — Finnish for "Carter Hutton."

Philipp Grubauer, Capitals — I think he's the keeper of the bunch.

  • Defensemen

Colin Miller, Bruins — Good salary, good shot.

Michael Stone, Flames — A defenseman with size. Could be a trend.

Klas Dahlbeck (Hurricanes) — Some Blackhawks DNA and still young enough to see if he can play.

Trevor van Riemsdyk (Blackhawks) — He's better than a lot of Hawks fans think.

Jamie Oleksiak (Stars) — 6-foot-7, 255 pounds is what I need to clear traffic that always clogs an expansion team's slot.

Griffin Reinhart (Oilers) — Former high first-round draft choice and just 23.

Brayden McNabb (Kings) — Showed he can play with the adults.

Matt Dumba (Wild) — Just 22, and did someone say "former high first-round choice?"

Marc Methot (Senators) — They don't pair Erik Karlsson with stiffs, people.

Michael Del Zotto (Flyers) — If Vegas ever gets a power play, he'll be firing from one of the points.

Jake Dotchin (Lightning) — A 23-year-old defenseman with size and possession ability.

  • Forwards

Logan Shaw (Ducks) — Assuming an actual deal not to select a couple other players, I'm taking a big center.

Alexander Burmistrov (Coyotes) — I had to take a Coyote.

William Carrier (Sabres) — A young left wing with size.

Mikhail Grigorenko (Avalanche) — I'm a sucker for big, young centers.

Sam Gagner (Blue Jackets) — Usually has better Corsi numbers than his teammates.

Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers) — Whatever his age and size, 30 goals is 30 goals.

Tomas Plekanec (Canadiens) — Some team always needs a veteran forward at the deadline.

Colton Sissons (Predators) — Do I have to tell Hawks fans why I took this guy?

Mike Cammalleri (Devils) — I had to take a Devil.

Josh Bailey (Islanders) — A center with size and good Corsi numbers three of the last four seasons.

Mikkel Boedker (Sharks) — He's still fast. That's all I have.

Kerby Rychel (Maple Leafs) — Young enough that he still might become something if given ice time.

Brendan Gaunce (Canucks) — I had to take a Canuck.

Marko Dano (Jets) — Still worth a shot.

Vegas Golden Hines

Chris Hine's strategy: The Golden Knights have an opportunity here to take goaltenders that they could flip later for other players or valuable assets. Fleury, Mrazek and Raanta are all capable NHL goaltenders that a contender might want to trade for later in the season — if not before the season. The roster gives the Knights a combination of a competitive team while providing them with value as they build for the future. Nobody is expecting the Knights to be playoff contenders out of the gate, but the rules of the expansion draft provides them an opportunity to become good soon if they play it right.

  • Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury (Penguins) — Waived his no-movement clause and Knights reportedly are going to add him.

Petr Mrazek (Red Wings) — A starting-caliber goaltender who will be trade bait.

Antti Raanta (Rangers) — Another quality goaltender on a cheap contract. More trade bait.

Linus Ullmark (Sabres) — One of the top goaltender prospects. Could be the future of the franchise.

  • Defensemen

Marc Methot, Senators — He will be a top-pair defenseman and a team leader.

Trevor van Riemsdyk, Blackhawks — A proven defenseman who is young and cheap.

Matt Dumba, Wild — Former first-round pick, is only 22 and has upside that hasn't been tapped.

Colin Miller, Bruins — 24-year-old quality defenseman will be a restricted free agent after 2018.

Carl Gunnarsson, Blues — Reasonable contract the next two seasons ($2.9 million per season) for a capable defenseman.

Brayden McNabb, Kings — He's 26 and had an even-strength Corsi percentage above 60 last season.

Klas Dahlbeck, Hurricanes — Former Hawk who hasn't been able to prove himself much at NHL level. Could get a shot here.

Griffin Reinhart, Oilers — Another unproven defenseman the Knights might take shot at.

Alex Biega, Canucks — Not much to choose from Canucks, Biega at least clocked 87 games the last two seasons.

Nate Schmidt, Capitals — Potential top-four defenseman and could be a building block.

Jake Dotchin, Lightning — Young defenseman who looked the part for 35 games last season. Could be involved in a side deal.

  • Forwards

James Neal (Predators) — It's between him and Colton Sissons but Neal's track record gives him the edge.

Troy Brouwer (Flames) — Former Hawk could be a veteran leader right away or trade bait for a potential contender.

Cody Eakin (Stars)— Had a down year, but is only 26 and has two-way potential.

Alexander Burmistrov (Coyotes) — Young center who is expendable for Coyotes given some of their prospects.

William Karlsson (Blue Jackets) — Young center who will be a restricted free agent after this season.

Logan Shaw (Ducks) — Like Jackets, may be what's left after Ducks make other deals with Knights.

Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers) — 30-goal scorers don't grow on trees.

Mikkel Boedker (Sharks) —Could play on a top-six line for the Knights thanks to his speed.

Marko Dano (Jets) — Still hasn't tapped potential with Jets, maybe playing time opens up with Knights.

Tomas Plekanec (Canadiens) — Veteran is an unrestricted free agent next season and could be a trade candidate for a contender at the deadline.

Michael Raffl (Flyers) — Scored 21 goals three seasons ago, battled injuries last season.

Nikolai Kulemin (Islanders) — Vegas reportedly has a side deal in place with the Islanders to take Kulemin's $4.1875 million cap hit.

Mike Cammalleri (Devils) — 35-year-old might still have some goal scoring magic left in him.

Kerby Rychel (Maple Leafs) — Would be a prospect who needs time to develop.

Mikhail Grigorenko (Avalanche) — Is only 23 and has improved in each of his first few seasons.

Copyright © 2017, CT Now
25°