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March 23, 2018

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Golden Knights send 3 draft picks to Detroit for winger Tatar


AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker

Detroit Red Wings’ Tomas Tatar (21) shoots the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C.

Updated Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 | 12:42 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Golden Knights left wing Brendan Leipsic (13) chases after a puck with New York Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho (28) and defenseman Adam Pelech (50) during the third period at T-Mobile Arena Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Just before today’s NHL trade deadline, the Golden Knights sent three draft picks to Detroit in exchange for 27-year-old winger Tomas Tatar.

Tatar has 16 goals and 12 assists for the Red Wings this season and has scored more than 20 in three straight seasons. The Czech has also topped the 40-point mark in each of the last three seasons.

In a win-now move, Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee paid a premium for Tatar. Vegas sent Detroit its first round pick in 2018, second-round pick in 2019 and third-round pick in 2021.

Unlike many deals just before the noon trade deadline, Tatar is not a one-year rental for the Golden Knights. He is signed through the 2020-21 season at $5.3 million a year.

This year, Tatar has played mostly on the Red Wings’ second line alongside Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou, and the second power-play unit. Averaging 2:17 of ice time with a man advantage, Tatar has scored half of his goals this season (8) on the power play.

Vegas made a trade earlier this morning in which it sent forward Brendan Leipsic to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Philip Holm.

Holm has played in only one NHL game in his career, and it was at T-Mobile Arena.

He played 15:12 and recorded one hit for the Canucks in their 6-3 loss to the Golden Knights on Friday. Holm spent the majority of the season with the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League, where he tallied 11 goals and 18 assists.

Holm is a big body at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds but, according to Vancouver General Manager Jim Benning, he is mobile.

“He has good mobility to transition the puck, but he’s not a point producer,” Benning told the Vancouver Sun in May. “He’s the new-style defenseman. He’s good defensively and on his positioning, and he can get back to rush the puck or make that first pass.”

Holm has been assigned to the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

In return, Vegas sent Leipsic to the Canucks. In 44 games this season with the Golden Knights, Leipsic showed signs of improvement but struggled to score. He scored only two goals on 68 shots.

Tomas Hyka replaced Leipsic in the lineup recently and has looked good in three games.

“He looks like an NHL hockey player,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “Sometimes you look at a guy when they first get called up (from the AHL) and they look out of place a little bit, but he hasn’t. He’s looked really good. We’re real happy with his performance.”

Hyka scored the first goal of his career Friday against Vancouver and has created scoring chances in his limited time on the ice.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.