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June 23, 2018

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Golden Knights receive protected lists from league, begin to build roster


L.E. Baskow

The new scoreboard is up and running as the Vegas Golden Knights host a Glass Seat Reveal for prospective premium ticket members at the T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Updated Sunday, June 18, 2017 | 11:24 a.m.

The time has come.

At 7:30 a.m. the other 30 NHL teams have submitted their protection lists to the Golden Knights. General Manager George McPhee and his personnel team now have until 7 a.m. Wednesday to make their selections from each team.

Teams have two options of whom they can protect from the Golden Knights – either seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie, or eight total skaters (forwards and defensemen) and a goalie. The Golden Knights must take one player from each team, and come away with a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.

Here are the players each team has elected to protect from the Golden Knights, and a couple of the frontrunners to end up in Las Vegas from each team.

Anaheim Ducks 7-3-1

Andrew Cogliano (F)

Ryan Getzlaf (F)

Ryan Kesler (F)

Corey Perry (F)

Rickard Rakell (F)

Jakob Silfverberg (F)

Antoine Vermette (F)

Kevin Bieksa (D)

Cam Fowler (D)

Hampus Lindholm (D)

John Gibson (G)

The obvious choice for the Golden Knights out of Anaheim is Sami Vatanen. The 25-year-old defenseman has quickly grown into one of the best, young blue liners in the NHL. A deal could already be worked out between the two teams but another option for McPhee would be Josh Manson, who is another good, young defenseman that would cost significantly less than Vatanen ($0.82 million).

Arizona Coyotes 4-4-1

Nick Cousins (F)

Anthony Duclair (F)

Jordan Martinook (F)

Tobias Rieder (F)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D)

Alex Goligoski (D)

Connor Murphy (D)

Luke Schenn (D)

Chad Johnson (G)

The Coyotes dealt goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames right before the deadline or he could have been an option here. Now McPhee must look at wingers Jamie McGinn and Teemu Pulkkinen or defenseman Luke Schenn.

Boston Bruins 7-3-1

David Backes (F)

Patrice Bergeron (F)

David Krejci (F)

Brad Marchand (F)

Riley Nash (F)

David Pastrnak (F)

Ryan Spooner (F)

Zdeno Chara (D)

Torey Krug (D)

Kevan Miller (D)

Tuukka Rask (G)

With four players containing no movement clauses in their contracts the Bruins had little flexibility for whom to protect. One of the most popular options for the Golden Knights is nabbing highly touted prospect goaltender Malcolm Subban (brother of star defenseman P.K. Subban). McPhee could also go for a more immediate impact with defenseman Adam McQuaid.

Buffalo Sabres 7-3-1

Tyler Ennis (F)

Marcus Foligno (F)

Zemgus Girgensons (F)

Evander Kane (F)

Johan Larsson (F)

Ryan O'Reilly (F)

Kyle Okposo (F)

Nathan Beaulieu (D)

Jake McCabe (D)

Rasmus Ristolainen (D)

Robin Lehner (G)

Defenseman Josh Gorges is a guy McPhee could take a look at from the Sabres, as well as left winger Nicolas Deslauriers.

Calgary Flames 7-3-1

Mikael Backlund (F)

Sam Bennett (F)

Micheal Ferland (F)

Michael Frolik (F)

Johnny Gaudreau (F)

Curtis Lazar (F)

Sean Monahan (F)

T.J. Brodie (D)

Mark Giordano (D)

Dougie Hamilton (D)

Mike Smith (G)

Golden Knights’ assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon would have loved to get Michael Ferland, who he mentored with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. Since Calgary took him off the table, the Golden Knights could go with one of the young center Lance Bouma who has a lot of potential.

Carolina Hurricanes 7-3-1

Phillip Di Giuseppe (F)

Elias Lindholm (F)

Brock McGinn (F)

Victor Rask (F)

Jeff Skinner (F)

Jordan Staal (F)

Teuvo Teravainen (F)

Trevor Carrick (D)

Justin Faulk (D)

Ryan Murphy (D)

Scott Darling (G)

Lee Stempniak hasn’t played for the same team in consecutive seasons in 11 years. The 34-year-old winger isn’t the youngest or the cheapest option for the Golden Knights but he’s tallied at least 40 points in three of the last four seasons. McPhee could also opt to go with a goalie in Cam Ward or Eddie Lack.

Chicago Blackhawks 7-3-1

Artem Anisimov (F)

Ryan Hartman (F)

Marian Hossa (F)

Tomas Jurco (F)

Patrick Kane (F)

Richard Panik (F)

Jonathan Toews (F)

Niklas Hjalmarsson (D)

Duncan Keith (D)

Brent Seabrook (D)

Corey Crawford (G)

This list was never in question considering the Blackhawks have eight players with no movement clauses that must be protected. What is a mystery is what type of deal Chicago has worked out with Vegas. Chances are Vegas will end up with both Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger via trade. Chicago is desperate to shed Kruger’s $3 million cap hit and could give the Golden Knights Van Riemsdyk to take Kruger off their hands.

Colorado Avalanche 7-3-1

Sven Andrighetto (F)

Blake Comeau (F)

Matt Duchene (F)

Rocco Grimaldi (F)

Gabriel Landeskog (F)

Nathan MacKinnon (F)

Matt Nieto (F)

Tyson Barrie (D)

Erik Johnson (D)

Nikita Zadorov (D)

Semyon Varlamov (G)

The Avalanche chose to protect veteran goaltender Varlamov over the younger Calvin Pickard, who the Golden Knights could take here. Pickard started 48 games for the Avalanche this year and finished with a 2.98 goals against average and played under Gallant on team Canada this spring.

Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3-1

Cam Atkinson (F)

Brandon Dubinsky (F)

Nick Foligno (F)

Scott Hartnell (F)

Boone Jenner (F)

Brandon Saad (F)

Alexander Wennberg (F)

Seth Jones (D)

Ryan Murray (D)

David Savard (D)

Sergei Bobrovsky (G)

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday that the Blue Jackets agreed to trade their first-round draft pick (24th overall) and a prospect to Vegas for assurances the Golden Knights would select either left wing Matt Calvert, center William Karlsson or defensemen Ryan Murray.

Dallas Stars 7-3-1

Jamie Benn (F)

Radek Faksa (F)

Valeri Nichushkin (F)

Brett Ritchie (F)

Antoine Roussel (F)

Tyler Seguin (F)

Jason Spezza (F)

Stephen Johns (D)

John Klingberg (D)

Esa Lindell (D)

Ben Bishop (G)

The heavy favorite amongst Dallas Stars to be drafted by the Golden Knights is 25-year-old defenseman Stephen Johns. The 6-foot-4 bruiser registered only 10 points this season but is a presence on the ice, especially for his age. McPhee could also give Cody Eakin another chance. He drafted the center in Washigton.

Detroit Red Wings 7-3-1

Justin Abdelkader (F)

Andreas Athanasiou (F)

Anthony Mantha (F)

Frans Nielsen (F)

Gustav Nyquist (F)

Tomas Tatar (F)

Henrik Zetterberg (F)

Danny DeKeyser (D)

Mike Green (D)

Nick Jensen (D)

Jimmy Howard (G)

The Red Wings shocked everyone by leaving 25-year-old goaltender Petr Mrazek unprotected in favor of veteran Jimmy Howard. Mrazek could end up staying in Las Vegas to compete with Penguins’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury or McPhee could take him in the expansion draft and trade him to a team in need of a goaltender for draft picks or prospects.

Edmonton Oilers 7-3-1

Leon Draisaitl (F)

Jordan Eberle (F)

Zack Kassian (F)

Mark Letestu (F)

Milan Lucic (F)

Patrick Maroon (F)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F)

Oscar Klefbom (D)

Adam Larsson (D)

Andrej Sekera (D)

Cam Talbot (G)

The Oilers are fortunate in that many of their stars are young enough they aren’t available in the expansion draft. That leaves McPhee with a choice likely between Benoit Pouliot and Griffin Reinhart.

Florida Panthers 4-4-1

Aleksander Barkov (F)

Nick Bjugstad (F)

Jonathan Huberdeau (F)

Vincent Trocheck (F)

Aaron Ekblad (D)

Alex Petrovic (D)

Mark Pysyk (D)

Keith Yandle (D)

James Reimer (G)

The Florida Panthers are in one of the worst spots of any team in the NHL when it comes to the expansion draft. Veteran Keith Yandle has a no movement clause, forcing leading scorer Jonathan Merchessault to be exposed to Vegas. Gerard Gallant will have plenty of input on this pick, but it appears to be a no brainer.

Los Angeles Kings 4-4-1

Jeff Carter (F)

Anze Kopitar (F)

Tanner Pearson (F)

Tyler Toffoli (F)

Drew Doughty (D)

Derek Forbort (D)

Alec Martinez (D)

Jake Muzzin (D)

Jonathan Quick (G)

The Kings have such a depth of talent at defensemen they protected four of them and still exposed a talented young blue liner. 6-foot-5 Brayden McNabb would immediately be a top-4 defenseman for the Golden Knights and has a team-friendly contract at only $1.7 million per year. The Kings will likely try to pay McPhee draft picks to take Marian Gaborik or Dustin Brown off their hands but McPhee holds all of the cards.

Minnesota Wild 7-3-1

Charlie Coyle (F)

Mikael Granlund (F)

Mikko Koivu (F)

Nino Niederreiter (F)

Zach Parise (F)

Jason Pominville (F)

Jason Zucker (F)

Jonas Brodin (D)

Jared Spurgeon (D)

Ryan Suter (D)

Devan Dubnyk (G)

The Wild are one of the two or three teams with the most to lose in the expansion draft. Minnesota made the difficult decision to protect Las Vegas-native Jason Zucker, leaving talented defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella available.

Montreal Canadiens 7-3-1

Paul Byron (F)

Phillip Danault (F)

Jonathan Drouin (F)

Alex Galchenyuk (F)

Brendan Gallagher (F)

Max Pacioretty (F)

Andrew Shaw (F)

Jordie Benn (D)

Jeff Petry (D)

Shea Weber (D)

Carey Price (G)

The Canadiens made the biggest splash of the young offseason when they traded for Lightning scorer Jonathan Drouin and quickly signed him to a 6-year, $33 million deal. With that move, veteran center Tomas Plekanec could be headed to Vegas in the expansion draft.

Nashville Predators 4-4-1

Viktor Arvidsson (F)

Filip Forsberg (F)

Calle Jarnkrok (F)

Ryan Johansen (F)

Mattias Ekholm (D)

Ryan Ellis (D)

Roman Josi (D)

P.K. Subban (D)

Pekka Rinne (G)

Fresh off a heartbreaking loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Predators will now suffer a loss of a good player to the Golden Knights in the expansion draft. 29-year-old James Neal immediately jumps off the page. The left winger scored 23 goals this season, bringing his career total to 238. Protecting four defensemen also leaves productive forwards Colin Wilson (12 goals) and Craig Smith (12 goals) exposed. All three could be immediate contributors for Vegas.

New Jersey Devils 4-4-1

Taylor Hall (F)

Adam Henrique (F)

Kyle Palmieri (F)

Travis Zajac (F)

Andy Greene (D)

John Moore (D)

Mirco Mueller (D)

Damon Severson (D)

Cory Schneider (G)

The pick from the Devils certainly won’t be one of the Golden Knights’ more coveted ones. After the Devils have protected seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie there isn’t much to choose from. Jon Merrill was highly touted when he came out of the University of Michigan but hasn’t performed in the pros. Maybe McPhee will take a chance on him.

New York Islanders 3-5-1

Andrew Ladd (F)

Anders Lee (F)

John Tavares (F)

Johnny Boychuk (D)

Travis Hamonic (D)

Nick Leddy (D)

Adam Pelech (D)

Ryan Pulock (D)

Thomas Greiss (G)

The Islanders were the only team to protect five defensemen. McPhee has worked as an advisor for Islanders general manager Garth Snow, so the two may work out a deal. The indication is the Islanders may give Vegas a first round pick to leave their unprotected forwards alone.

New York Rangers 7-3-1

Kevin Hayes (F)

Chris Kreider (F)

J.T. Miller (F)

Rick Nash (F)

Derek Stepan (F)

Mika Zibanejad (F)

Mats Zuccarello (F)

Nick Holden (D)

Ryan McDonagh (D)

Marc Staal (D)

Henrik Lundqvist (G)

The New York Rangers could supply the Golden Knights with their leading scorer in year one in Michael Grabner. The 29-year-old right winger finished second on the Rangers with 27 goals in the regular season, and tied for a team-high with four goals in the playoffs. Because he’s been inconsistent the Rangers didn’t protect him, but McPhee could take a chance on the production continuing. The Golden Knights could also take backup goalie Antti Raanta, who many believe has a very high potential.

Ottawa Senators 7-3-1

Derick Brassard (F)

Ryan Dzingel (F)

Mike Hoffman (F)

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F)

Zack Smith (F)

Mark Stone (F)

Kyle Turris (F)

Cody Ceci (D)

Erik Karlsson (D)

Dion Phaneuf (D)

Craig Anderson (G)

The Senators left defenseman Marc Methot available and he is the odds on favorite to become a Golden Knight. The Senators could always work out a deal with McPhee, or Vegas could decide to go with veteran winger Bobby Ryan, but Methot is the most likely selection.

Philadelphia Flyers 7-3-1

Sean Couturier (F)

Valtteri Filppula (F)

Claude Giroux (F)

Scott Laughton (F)

Brayden Schenn (F)

Wayne Simmonds (F)

Jakub Voracek (F)

Shayne Gostisbehere (D)

Radko Gudas (D)

Brandon Manning (D)

Anthony Stolarz (G)

Yet another goaltending option for the Golden Knights lies in Philadelphia in backup net minder Michal Neuvirth. McPhee drafted Neuvirth in Washington (although he did trade him) and Golden Knights goaltending coach Dave Prior coached him there. He also recently signed a very team-friendly contract that would make him an obvious choice.

Pittsburgh Penguins 4-4-1

Sidney Crosby (F)

Patric Hornqvist (F)

Phil Kessel (F)

Evgeni Malkin (F)

Brian Dumoulin (D)

Kris Letang (D)

Olli Maatta (D)

Justin Schultz (D)

Matt Murray (G)

The back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions will likely supply the Golden Knights with the most recognizable player on the team this Wednesday. Last Monday it was reported goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had waived his no movement clause but only for Vegas, making it extremely likely he will be the Golden Knights starter from day one. Fleury has three Stanley Cup Championships and won nine games this postseason to help the Penguins to the finals.

San Jose Sharks 7-3-1

Ryan Carpenter (F)

Logan Couture (F)

Jannik Hansen (F)

Tomas Hertl (F)

Melker Karlsson (F)

Joe Pavelski (F)

Chris Tierney (F)

Justin Braun (D)

Brent Burns (D)

Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D)

Martin Jones (G)

Defenseman Brenden Dillon is a likely option here for the Golden Knights. He is only 26 years old and has the size of a bruising defensemen, but hasn’t shown it in the NHL yet and isn’t much of an offensive threat.

St. Louis Blues 7-3-1

Patrik Berglund (F)

Ryan Reaves (F)

Jaden Schwartz (F)

Vladimir Sobotka (F)

Paul Stastny (F)

Alexander Steen (F)

Vladimir Tarasenko (F)

Jay Bouwmeester (D)

Joel Edmundson (D)

Alex Pietrangelo (D)

Jake Allen (G)

The St. Louis Blues have one of the best defensive depth charts in the entire NHL. By only protecting three defensemen in Bouwmeester, Edmundson and Pietrangelo they expose Carl Gunnarsson and Robert Bortuzzo. Another interesting option is Nail Yakupov, who was taken No. 1 overall in 2012 by the Oilers but scored only 11 goals in the last two seasons.

Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3-1

Ryan Callahan (F)

Tyler Johnson (F)

Alex Killorn (F)

Nikita Kucherov (F)

Vladislav Namestnikov (F)

Ondrej Palat (F)

Steven Stamkos (F)

Braydon Coburn (D)

Victor Hedman (D)

Anton Stralman (D)

Andrei Vasilevskiy (G)

J.T. Brown is a speedy winger for the Lightning that has yet to reach his potential in the NHL. He recorded only three goals and three assists this year in Tampa Bay but he could be a project for McPhee and Gallant in Las Vegas.

Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3-1

Tyler Bozak (F)

Connor Brown (F)

Nazem Kadri (F)

Leo Komarov (F)

Josh Leivo (F)

Matt Martin (F)

James van Riemsdyk (F)

Connor Carrick (D)

Jake Gardiner (D)

Morgan Rielly (D)

Frederik Andersen (G)

This isn’t the greatest group of players to choose from, so McPhee could work a deal to take Eric Fehr off the books for a team full of young players that will be getting big contracts soon.

Vancouver Canucks 7-3-1

Sven Baertschi (F)

Loui Eriksson (F)

Markus Granlund (F)

Bo Horvat (F)

Daniel Sedin (F)

Henrik Sedin (F)

Brandon Sutter (F)

Alexander Edler (D)

Erik Gudbranson (D)

Christopher Tanev (D)

Jacob Markstrom (G)

The popular choice here is Luca Sbisa, who has been a steady defensive presence for the Canucks but carries a $2.7 million-per-year salary.

Washington Capitals 7-3-1

Nicklas Backstrom (F)

Andre Burakovsky (F)

Lars Eller (F)

Marcus Johansson (F)

Evgeny Kuznetsov (F)

Alex Ovechkin (F)

Tom Wilson (F)

John Carlson (D)

Matt Niskanen (D)

Dmitry Orlov (D)

Braden Holtby (G)

Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer is one of the most discussed names in the entire expansion draft lead up, and for good reason. The 25-year-old has looked good when stepping in for Holtby, posting a goals against average of 2.04 this season. Another option out of a roster McPhee knows well is defenseman Nate Schmidt, who could become a top-4 defenseman for Vegas.

Winnipeg Jets 7-3-1

Joel Armia (F)

Andrew Copp (F)

Bryan Little (F)

Adam Lowry (F)

Mathieu Perreault (F)

Mark Scheifele (F)

Blake Wheeler (F)

Dustin Byfuglien (D)

Tyler Myers (D)

Jacob Trouba (D)

Connor Hellebuyck (G)

Despite the depth of their defense, the Jets protected only three defensemen to hold onto their young forwards. This leaves defenseman Toby Enstrom available for the Golden Knights, which would a great addition to the Vegas blue line.

Jesse Granger can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Jesse on Twitter at

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