Fleury leads Vegas Golden Knights' expansion draft choices

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"It's a hard draft", said McPhee, the franchise's GM. “I believe fans are really going to like the team, and the trades and the draft picks and the prospects that we have. Many thought they would be going to go get a forward to add some players to the offensive development of their game. It might have been an upgraded draft pick plus a player, all kinds of different situations.”. He expressed endless gratitude toward the Pens, who drafted him first overall in 2003, but also acknowledged it was time to move on.

"You don't always have to do things the same way", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of the two-for-one Vegas show.

After an up-and-down career in Pittsburgh, the three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie is among 30 National Hockey League veterans who could get a fresh start out West after the Golden Knights grabbed him in the National Hockey League expansion draft. Huge sleeper pick that is very smart and has elite hockey sense was the second leading scorer in all of the CHL (only behind Kailer Yamamoto of Spokane).

The other 30 teams protected either seven forwards, three defencemen and a goaltender, or eight skaters and a goalie.

Grubauer, 25, played for the Bulls from 2008-10 and finished his OHL career in Windsor - where he won a Memorial Cup - and Kingston. But the biggest victor had to be the Minnesota Timberwolves, who extracted All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Timberwolves in a trade that still saw them pick in the first round.

J-F Berube (New York Islanders) will be Vegas's third goalie.

ROLLING THE DICE: Maybe Vegas wants to groom its starter of the future, in which case Grubauer, Boston's Malcolm Subban, Detroit's Jared Coreau or Toronto's Antoine Bibeau could fit the bill. He played with Shipachyov in Russian Federation, and the hope is he will eventually come to Las Vegas to play with him again.

The NHL's 31st franchise ended up picking 13 on defence, including Methot, the long-time defence partner of Ottawa Senators captain and Norris trophy nominee, Erik Karlsson. He had the proper temperament to make the expansion draft a sure bet.

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The Penguins made Fleury their No. 1 overall pick 14 years to the day he was the second to last selection for Las Vegas. Clarkson, 33, has three years and $15.75 million remaining on his contract and has been sidelined since the 2015-16 season with back pain.

Not only is he quite close with Fleury, who said his old teammates will help his transition - but Engelland calls Las Vegas home. It is expected that the Knights will be announcing major names in the league which will surely decrease the firepower of other teams. For it to finally happen, it's awesome. Even if Minnesota did have arrangements for them, it didn't seem like enough to let all their defencemen and Staal go unpicked. Defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella plus centers Eric Staal and Erik Haula were all intriguing candidates, but Vegas settled for forward Erik Haula and a conditional 2017 or 2018 third-round pick, which probably won't be almost as valuable.

When it came to the Sabres' unprotected list, the Knights could have chosen between hard-hitting defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, 26, or talented goaltender Linus Ullmark, 23. James Neal, Vadim Shipachyov, Reilly Smith, and David Perron will give Vegas some scoring power. However, Buffalo instead enticed Vegas to select forward William Carrier by adding a 2017 sixth-round pick to the package.

Free agency kicking off July 1st will keep them there for at least another couple of weeks before the dog days of summer set in.

Florida was seemingly trying to get out of Smith's contract ($5 million cap hit through the 2022 season) with the move, but Smith has two 20-goal seasons under his belt in the National Hockey League and scored 15 goals with 22 assists last season. McPhee and Foley announced each pick while sitting at a table on stage at the award ceremony.

One can imagine McPhee slipping into his best "Sopranos" impression during negotiations: "Boy, it'd be a real shame if something were to happen to Brock Nelson".

He sees that same enthusiasm returning for Golden Knights fever now.

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