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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

What do your Vegas Golden Knights look like?

The protected lists are out and now we vaguely know which players the Vegas Golden Knights will have to choose from between now and Wednesday morning. They’ll have three days to mull over their selections and for the other 30 clubs to beg and plead with them to avoid picking players they want to keep.

In the interim, as we wait, I tried to select my very own Vegas Golden Knights roster.

I went with two overriding principles for my roster:

  • Building from the net out and prioritizing goaltenders, then defensemen, then forwards.
  • Fielding a competitive team but also accumulating some assets that will have future value.

I’m also completely ignoring the possibility of side deals with teams and just grabbing players that make sense for Vegas long-term.

Goaltenders

  • Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh)
  • Antti Raanta (NY Rangers)
  • Calvin Pickard (Colorado)
  • Malcolm Subban (Boston)
  • Garret Sparks (Toronto)

I figure that at least one of the goaltenders can be flipped to another organization for a pick, while Sparks seems like a solid bet to be at least a good minor league goalie.

Defensemen

  • Jack Johnson (Columbus)
  • Brendan Dillon (San Jose)
  • Jason Demers (Florida)
  • Josh Manson (Anaheim)
  • Matt Dumba (Minnesota)
  • Nate Schmidt (Washington)
  • Chris Wideman (Ottawa)
  • Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago)
  • Justin Falk (Buffalo)
  • Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton)

It’s basically a hodge-podge of second and third pairing defenders – and Reinhart – but having eight decent players for seven spots is a good place to start and it seems likely that the odd man out can probably be flipped to another team rather than lost on waivers.

Forwards

  • Cody Eakin (Dallas)
  • Mike Cammalleri (New Jersey)
  • Jamie McGinn (Arizona)
  • Lee Stempniak (Carolina)
  • Brock Nelson (NY Islanders)
  • Matt Read (Philadelphia)
  • Zack Smith (Nashville)
  • Riley Sheahan (Detroit)
  • Cedric Paquette (Tampa Bay)
  • Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles)
  • Reid Boucher (Vancouver)
  • Dmitri Jaskin (St. Louis)
  • Marko Dano (Winnipeg)
  • Hunter Shinkaruk (Calgary)
  • Jacob da la Rose (Montreal)

Shinkaruk and da la Rose can be put in the minors and both are preferable to some of the other contracts available from their clubs. Otherwise, this seems like a decent team with some good 200-foot players, some speed and some offense.

What does your team look like? Sound off in the comments!

  • Skylardog

    How about everyone pick who they think Vegas will take from the Flames. List your top 3 choices in order, and then who you want them to take. I will start. All for bragging rights only.
    1. Stone
    2. Versteeg
    3. Kulak
    Please take Brouwer.

    • McRib

      They would still have to sign Stone and Versteeg, so it may be more likely that they take a signed player to have a gurenteed tangible asset. That or they may take a prospet like Kulak or Shinkaruk. I could be wrong though maybe they take the negotiating rights to a UFA.

      Mine would be 1) Shinkraruk 3) Kulak 3) Stajan (What’s the deal with Modified NTC?). Tory Brouwer is a dream, but that’s doubtful.

      How tied into analytics are Vegas? I know they signed the Cap Geek guy, but haven’t heard about an analytics guy. If they take Troy Brouwer they definitely aren’t into analytics. Lol

      • Skylardog

        They can sign any UFA that is not protected between now and Wednesday. It would count as their pick from the team that holds their rights. Essentially, they get a jump on the UFA process.

    • Puckhead

      1. Chiasson – versatile and can be moved up and down lineup, good corsi
      2. Stajan – centreman, steady, verteran leadership, 1 year left and can be moved at trade deadline
      3. Kulak – showed well when he was in the NHL, low cost, good potential upside

      • cornwallroyals

        From the list of defencemen above, I doubt that Kulak gets picked over any of those, which would be good for the Flames. The other item is, from that list where do they stand from the salary cap angle? Do they meet the floor?

        • Skylardog

          I doubt Kulak is their first choice just for that reason as well. I originally had him being taken, then realized how the UFA signings work. But he is young with potential.

          I don’t see why they would take a 30+ year old when a 25 to 27 year old is available. That is why I think Kulak is still in the mix.
          As far as cap is concerned, I don’t see them having a problem. By being able to sign UFAs they should have an easy time meeting the minimum.

  • Hubcap1

    Goalies wil be Fleury (Pitt), Gubauer (Wash), Ulmark (Buf), Bibeau (Tor).

    Ulmark and Bibeau best I can tell are waiver exempt. Sparks sucks and Suban isn’t exempt, nor is Sparks. They may take an extra goalie to flip to someone else.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Don’t know why Vegas would pass on Mrazek. Closer to being a starter than Raanta. They could easily trade him to Philly or WPG for a decent return.

    • DJ_44

      I agree. Not only Mrazek, but also Pickard form Colorado. I also do not think they take Fluery (unless Pittsburgh seriously sweetens the pot) since Rust is available. I think Sbisa goes from Vancouver, and I also think they pass on Dumba in favour of Eric Staal.

      • Skylardog

        I agree. Taking Fleury helps strengthen the Cup champions by getting rid of their 2 goalie problem. That would give them more cap space. The other 29 teams should call fowl if he is taken for nothing.

      • MarbledBlueCheese

        I think Friedman has stated that there is a deal to send Fleury to Vegas. I would think that Pitt adds some pick(s) to protect other players to take an expensive goalie. But Vegas may think they can flip him for something as well.

      • MarbledBlueCheese

        Why would they take Staal over Dumba? Twighlight of his career, impressive now mainly based on his last accomplishments, vs a young controlled top-4 D man: who have been found to be worth significant assets.

        • DJ_44

          I would take Staal. He is a legit #1 center (65 pts last year). Big. Toughest thing to find in hockey is a #1C. Dumba is good, but he is not a world beater. Staal is under contract for 2 more years at $3.5M, with a reasonable m-NTC. He gives LVK a legit top line and can shelter a younger center they get in the draft/trade. Centers could be Staal-Marchessault-Weal-Burmistrov-Dowd-Dano ; this is not that bad.

          What are they going to get for Dumba? It has to be a package that is substantially better than a #1C, because LVK can get that for free. YMMV.

  • Aadvarkian Abakeneezer

    I wouldn’t be shocked if Vegas grabbed Brouwer. From McPhee’s point of view, who’s to say he didn’t just have a down year? He’s familiar with the player, he’s got the cap space and he’d likely feel as though he was robbing a divisional rival of some veteran leadership.

    • jakethesnail

      LV will take Brouwer for his leadership qualities, McPhee connection, and a way to get to the cap floor. Better Brouwer than Poulliot who has no character, takes cheap penalties in the O Zone…

      • Skylardog

        I’ve run the Draft on capfriendly.com a bunch of times. Always get close without adding in any of the signings, UFA and RFA, they will need to make. Cap will not be an issue for them.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      They don’t touch Brouwer unless Tre makes it very worth their while. LV can easily take on a lot of bummy contracts, like Clarkson’s, to reach the floor. If Tre wants to rid the team of boat anchor Bouwer, he will pay dearly to do so.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I went to Cap Friendly earlier today and picked a roster. Tried to replicate it just now, but somehow came out with a different cap hit. Somethings changed in my picks since this morning.

    Neal, James M-NTC LW, RW NHL 29 $5,000,000
    Boedker, Mikkel LW, RW NHL 27 $4,000,000
    Eakin, Cody C NHL 26 $3,850,000
    Perron, David M-NTC LW, RW NHL 29 $3,750,000
    Kruger, Marcus M-NTC C NHL 27
    Stempniak, Lee RW NHL 34 $2,500,000
    Nelson, Brock C, LW NHL 25 $2,500,000
    Hayes, Jimmy RW NHL 27 $2,300,000
    Paquette, Cedric C, LW NHL 23 $812,500
    Marchessault, Jonathan C NHL 26 $750,000
    Hudon, Charles LW Minor 22 $650,000
    Rust, Bryan RW NHL 25 $640,000
    Bennett, Beau RW, LW NHL 25
    Gaunce, Brendan C, LW NHL 23
    Desharnais, David C NHL 30
    Gagner, Sam C, RW NHL 27
    Burmistrov, Alexander C, RW NHL 25

    Enstrom, Toby NMC D NHL 32 $5,750,000
    Bogosian, Zach D NHL 26 $5,142,857
    Methot, Marc M-NTC D NHL 31 $4,900,000
    Vatanen, Sami D NHL 26 $4,875,000
    Dumba, Matt D NHL 22 $2,550,000
    McNabb, Brayden D NHL 26 $1,700,000
    Marincin, Martin D NHL 25 $1,250,000
    Del Zotto, Michael D NHL 26
    Kulak, Brett D Minor 23

    Mrazek, Petr G NHL 25 $4,000,000
    Raanta, Antti G NHL 28 $1,000,000
    Pickard, Calvin G NHL 25 $1,000,000
    Grubauer, Philipp G NHL 25

    PROJECTED CAP HIT $62,003,690

        • Skylardog

          Rules state that a player can’t be traded back to original team for a while. I think 12 months.

          I tried running a mock draft for Vegas WITHOUT taking MAF, and it always looked like a bad move by the end. They either move him or keep him, but he always has more value than Rust.

    • Eggs Bennett

      They absolutely should take all four goalies you mentioned. If only to trade them for better assets than available on the goalies’ respective teams.

  • everton fc

    I don’t think they take Shinkaruk – waiver-eligible. This may spare Kulak, as well. I see Chiasson as their #1 target here, followed by Brouwer (due to his term, the past relationship w/McPhee and “leadership”). They won’t pick Bouma. And Stajan only has one more year.

    I could see them picking Stone and Stone signing there – but I truly believe BT is a big fan of Stone’s and he’ll be re-signed. Versteeg won’t sign there. He wants to play here.

  • everton fc

    Also… Vegas will be very thin at centre. It’s the only reason they’d take Stajan. But Lazar would be a prime pickup for Vegas. Look at the centres available…

    Bouma plays centre! πŸ˜‰

    • Baalzamon

      They signed Vadim Shipachyov for exactly that reason. He’s not young, but he’s had excellent results in the KHL for years. They could also pick up Staal from Minnesota and the buzz is they’re getting Kruger from Chicago through a trade as well. Plus there’s always guys like Eakin, Nelson, and Strome.

      They won’t be hurting for centers.

  • The GREAT WW

    Four first overall picks…..a 3rd, 4th and 7th overall in the last decade, and the Oilers are protecting a guy called “Letestu”?!
    My lord…..

    WW

  • Brownblazer

    After doing a mock draft I too feel that LV won’t have any problem getting to the cap floor (=not taking Brouwer). There are a ton of d available so I can’t see them taking Kulak – which means Chaisson seems to be the likely choice.

    • Chiasson’s an RFA though. I don’t get why they’d take him just to negotiate a new contract based on a pretty decent season. The guy’s probably due for a significant raise.

      If I was Vegas, I’d be looking for already-existing contracts that are good value and young players with untapped potential.

  • freethe flames

    When selecting this team LV has to consider a number of things; have a 22/23 man roster this can easily be done from this group and FA; they also have to build 1/2 a farm team which needs to have waiver eligible but close to NHL ready players, accumulate draft picks for this and next year. So they have plenty of options including drafting players to flip ; plus throw in the side deals they have already made they will be okay. While we might lose Kulak and that would suck as the Flames have spent so much time developing him it would not mean disaster for the Flames. For me the greater question is: From the list available to LV is there anyone there that we would be willing to flip our first rounder(+) for? That would mean no picks for the first 3 rounds? Dumba? Manson??

  • Eggs Bennett

    Just read draft projections from two different nhl.com writers suggesting they will take Brouwer for his goal scoring and leadership skills. Hopefully McPhee reads those kinds of posts!

    • smatic10

      At the same time both sportsnet and tsn articles are showing Shinkaruk as the selection. That would make the Granlund-Shinkaruk trade an unofficial loss for us. If so, laugh it up Nucks fans. I’ll just remember the 2015 playoffs to get over it πŸ˜‰

  • McRib

    I can’t believe Matt Dumba was exposed by Minnesota. Where was BT last week trying to acquire a talent like that? Why couldn’t we trade a second/third rounder for a talent like that (they must have a deal with Vegas). I would have re-signed Brain Elliott anyday if I knew we used assets for a Goalie, instead to acquire a young defenseman with upside like Dumba.

    • Baalzamon

      Bergevin is the only GM who’s actually given any of his players away (Beaulieu). Besides, who do you have the Flames exposing to protect Dumba? Brodie?