Tha Sports Junkies 101

NHL expansion and entry draft entertainment

NHL expansion and entry draft entertainment Bri Weldon/via Flickr


What a crazy week it has been in the NHL. It all started with the expansion draft.

Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft roster

In case you missed our Vegas roster predictions, click here.

This is the roster the Vegas Golden Knights picked at the NHL awards:

(Please note some of these players have since been traded away.)

1Myles GarrettEDGETexas A&M
2Reuben FosterLBAlabama
3Jamal AdamsSSLSU
4Malik HookerFSOhio State
5Leonard FournetteRBLSU
6Jonathan AllenDLAlabama
7Solomon ThomasEDGEStanford
8Corey DavisWRWestern Michigan
9O.J. HowardTEAlabama
10Marshon LattimoreCBOhio State
11Mike WilliamsWRClemson
12Dalvin CookRBFlorida State
13Malik McDowellDLMichigan State
14Forrest LampOGWestern Kentucky
15David NjokuTEMiami
16Teez TaborCBFlorida
17Takkarist McKinleyEDGEUCLA
18Derek BarnettEDGETennessee
19Marlon HumphreyCBAlabama
20Garett BollesOTUtah
21Alvin KamaraRBTennessee
22Joe MixonRBOklahoma
23John RossWRWashington
24Deshaun WatsonQBClemson
25Dan FeeneyOGIndiana
26Jarrad DavisLBFlorida
27Tim WilliamsEDGEAlabama
28Montravius AdamsDLAuburn
29Tre'Davious WhiteCBLSU
30DeShone KizerQBNotre Dame
31Jourdan LewisCBMichigan
32Jabrill PeppersSSMichigan
33Ryan RamczykOTWisconsin
34Sidney JonesCBWashington
35Christian McCaffreyRBStanford
36Isaiah FordWRVirginia Tech
37Charles WalkerDLOklahoma
38Ethan PocicCLSU
39KD CannonWRBaylor
40Jake ButtTEMichigan
41Ryan AndersonEDGEAlabama
42Pat ElfleinCOhio State
43Caleb BrantleyDTFlorida
44Mitch TrubiskyQBNorth Carolina
45Gerald EverettTESouth Alabama
46Taco CharltonEDGEMichigan
47Quincy WilsonCBFlorida
48Zach CunninghamLBVanderbilt
49Patrick MahomesQBTexas Tech
50D'Onta ForemanRBTexas

There have been a huge number of trades since the Vegas roster announcement. Here they are:

Vegas and Florida, June 21st

To Vegas: F Reilly Smith.

To Florida: 2018 4th round draft pick.

Winner: Florida.

Reilly Smith is not a terrible hockey player. He can still play on a team’s second line. The only problem  is his contract. Smith has a cap hit of $5 million for the next five seasons. That’s a big commitment to make for a second line player. Offloading his contract is huge for Florida, which is why they won this trade.

Vegas and Buffalo, June 21st

To Vegas: 2017 6th round draft pick.

To Buffalo: Expansion draft considerations.

There were a lot of trades like this one made around during the expansion draft. While the player getting protected in the “expansion draft considerations” is rumored, it is never confirmed. For that reason, there won’t be a winner picked for these type of trades.

Vegas and Carolina, June 21st

To Vegas: 2017 5th round draft pick.

To Carolina: Expansion draft considerations.

Vegas and Tampa Bay, June 21st

To Vegas: F Nikita Gusev, 2018 4th round draft pick, 2017 2nd round draft pick.

To Tampa Bay: Draft pick considerations.

Vegas and New York Islanders, June 21st

To Vegas: F Mikhail Grabovski, D Jake Bischoff, 2017 1st round draft pick, 2019 2nd round draft pick.

To New York I: Expansion draft considerations.

Vegas and Anaheim, June 21st

To Vegas: D Shea Theodore

To Anaheim: Expansion draft considerations.

Vegas and Columbus, June 21st

To Vegas: F David Clarkson, 2017 1st round draft pick, 2019 2nd round daft pick.

To Columbus: Expansion draft considerations.

Vegas and Winnipeg, June 21st

To Vegas: 13th pick in 2017 entry draft, 2019 3rd round draft pick, promise to take F Chris Thourburn in expansion draft.

To Winnipeg: 24th pick in 2017 entry draft.

Winner: Winnipeg

Winnipeg had some top players available in the expansion draft. Forward Marko Dano and defenseman Tobias Enstrom were both available for the taking, but because of this trade, Vegas got neither of them. And while they did give up the 13th overall pick, they received the 24th pick, moving back 11 spaces, and gave up a third to protect Dano and Enstrom. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Vegas and Minnesota, June 21st

To Vegas: F Alex Tuch.

To Minnesota: 2017 or 2018 conditional 3rd round draft pick.

Winner: Vegas.

Alex Tuch was a 1st round draft pick back in 2014, 18th overall. Since then, his development has dropped and he has only managed to get in 6 NHL games with Minnesota, all in the past season and all with no points.

In the AHL this past season, Tuch got only 37 points in 57 games, and his chances of becoming a top NHL player someday are becoming slim. In saying that, he still is only 21. What’s stopping him from turning it around and playing like the guy who earned a 1st round pick?

Also, Vegas will have many draft picks in the coming years, given the trades they made at the expansion draft, and there’s probably a higher chance of Tuch becoming an everyday NHL player for them, compared to whoever they would have selected with that 3rd round pick.

Vegas and Pittsburgh, June 21st

To Vegas: 2020 2nd round pick.

To Pittsburgh: Expansion draft consideration.

Carolina and Vegas, June 22nd

To Carolina: D Trevor Van Riemsdyk, 2018 7th round draft pick.

To Vegas: 2017 2nd round draft pick.

Winner: Carolina

Trevor Van Riemsdyk, statistically speaking, is a good second pairing defenseman. Given what we’ve seen over the years when trading for defense, and the fact that Van Riemsdyk is only 25 years old, Carolina got a good deal.

With this trade Carolina now has a surplus of good, young defensemen, which could mean they might look into trading one or two of them. A player they’ve been rumored to be interested in is Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche.

New York Islanders and Edmonton, June 22nd

To New York I: F Jordan Eberle.

To Edmonton: F Ryan Strome.

Winner: Edmonton

This trade blew up social media when it first happened. The overall consensus was that the Islanders won this trade in a land slide, but I’m not so sure on that. I’m very split about this trade.

Yes, Jordan Eberle is a better player than Ryan Strome, but not by as much as people say. Eberle has a considerable advantage in the possession category and goal scoring, while the only main category Strome leads in is assists. That being said, Eberle has a cap hit of $6 million and is 27, while Strome has a cap hit of just $2.5 million and is only 23. Strome is younger, cheaper, and not that much worse. To me, Edmonton wins this transaction.

Montreal and Vegas, June 22nd

To Montreal: D David Schlemko.

To Vegas: 2019 5th round draft pick.

Winner: Montreal.

This one is a no brainier. David Schlemko is good enough to be a first pair defender, and only has a cap hit of $2.1 million, way below what a typical top pair defenseman gets paid. The 2019 5th round draft pick is next to nothing in value compared to Schlemko. Montreal really got a steal here.

Arizona and Chicago, June 23rd

To Arizona: D Niklas Hjalmarsson.

To Chicago: F Laurent Dauphin, D Connor Murphy.

Winner: Arizona.

People expected Niklas Hjalmarsson to be on the move this summer. Chicago appears to be in yet another cap struggle, so offloading Hjalmarsson’s $4.1 million cap hit seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Although Brent Seabrook seems like a better player to move, Hjalmarsson makes sense and should bring in a bigger return. But then this trade happened.

While Connor Murphy is a decent young hockey player, he’s no Hjalmarsson. And the most import thing for Chicago to do was offload some money, but Murphy brings in a $3.85 million contract, just $250,000 less than Hjalmarsson. As for Dauphin, he is ok. He has a decent chance at making it to the NHL full time, but he is not enough to close the massive gap between Hjalmarsson and Murphy.

Columbus and Chicago, June 23rd

To Columbus: F Artemi Panarin, F Tyler Motte, 2017 6th round draft pick.

To Chicago: F Brandon Saad, G Anton Forsberg, 2018 5th round draft pick.

Winner: Chicago.

On the surface this looks like another bad trade by Chicago, and saying that would be easy given the trade they made just hours before this one. And while Panarin is a better player compared to Saad, the gap is not very big. Panarin and Saad both make $6 million per season, but Panarin’s contract ends in just two years. Saad still has four years left on his contract.

As for the reaming pieces in this deal, goaltender Anton Forsberg holds more value than forward Tyler Motte, and also fills a backup goalie hole for Chicago, and a 5th round draft pick is one round earlier than a 6th round draft pick. All that taken into account, the slim gap between Panarin and Saad is more than filled, leaving Chicago the narrow winners.

Columbus and Minnesota, June 23rd

To Columbus: F Jordan Schroeder.

To Minnesota: F Dante Salituro.

Winner: Columbus.

Jordan Schroeder might be one of the most unappreciated players in the NHL. He gets next to no ice time, but he still performs well. Hopefully Columbus notices this and starts playing him more, because he deserves it.

As for Salituro, he is coming off a really big down year. Three years ago, in his draft year,  Salituro put up 78 points in 68 games for Ottawa in the OHL. He followed this up with 83 points in 65 games last year. But just as he was beginning to look like a hot prospect, he puts up just 22 points in 30 games, still in the OHL.

There’s a chance Salituro could turn his game around and develop into a good player still, but right now, he’s not nearly worth being traded for Schroeder.

Arizona and New York Rangers, June 23rd

To Arizona: F Derek Stepan, G Antti Raanta.

To New York R: 2017 7th overall draft pick, D Anthony DeAngelo.

Winner: Arizona.

First the Hjalmarsson trade, now this? Arizona seems to be going for it. Arizona uses this trade to find their new starting goalie in Antti Raanta, and also pick up a solid second line center in Derek Stepan. While I do believe Arizona won this trade, they didn’t get out of it without giving up nothing.

The 7th overall pick in the 2017 draft is a very valuable asset, and that could turn out to be very good for New York. Also, young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo is heading to the Big Apple following this trade. While he hasn’t seen a lot of playing time in the NHL yet, DeAngelo has shown there’s a chance he could turn out to be a good defender in the NHL. However, he has also shown that he has some personality problems he has to deal with.

DeAngelo has been suspended by the OHL and NHL in the past for abuse of an official, as well as being a healthy scratch multiple times while in Tampa Bay for “off ice issues.” If anything, I think DeAngelo’s character problems is what makes me think Arizona won this trade.

St. Louis and Philadelphia, June 23rd

To St. Louis: F Brayden Schenn

To Philadelphia: F Jori Lehtera, 2017 27th overall draft pick, 2018 conditional 1st round draft pick.

Winner: Philadelphia.

What in the world is St. Louis doing? Brayden Schenn is barley, if at all, better than Jori Lehtera, while Lehtera plays a much more needed position at center. Schenn is also more expensive with one extra year on his contract.

If I was the GM of St. Louis, I don’t think I would take a Schenn for Lehtera one on one trade. But to give up one and maybe two 1st round draft picks too, that’s a bad trade. While the conditions on the 2018 1st round draft pick aren’t completely known, it doesn’t matter, Philadelphia wins in a landslide.

Pittsburgh and St. Louis, June 23rd

To Pittsburgh: F Ryan Reaves, 2017 51st overall draft pick.

To St.Louis: F Oskar Sundqvist, 2017 31st overall draft pick.

Winner: St. Louis.

Talk about a redemption trade. After making a horrible trade with Philadelphia, St.Louis went to the other Pennsylvania team to make a deal, but this time they did a good job.

St. Louis gave up a player that is nothing more than a fourth line player and, in return, moved up 20 spots in the draft and got a decent prospect. Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford said they wanted to “add muscle” after their second straight cup, and this trade did that for them. But why?

If you won  two consecutive cups without “muscle” why add it now? Why fix something that isn’t broken? This trade makes no sense for Pittsburgh. That’s why St. Louis wins the trade.

Calgary and New York Islanders, June 24th

To Calgary: D Travis Hamonic, conditional 4th round draft pick.

To New York I: 2018 1st round draft pick, 2018 2nd round draft pick, conditional 2nd round draft pick.

Winner: New York I.

I sat here for awhile deciding who won this trade. Hamonic has the point totals of a number one defenseman, but the possession numbers of a third liner. While Hamonic is going to add to an already great defensive corps in Calgary, I don’t think he’s worth a 1st round draft pick and potentially two 2nd round draft picks. To me, New York won this trade, but not by a lot.

The 2017 NHL entry draft

For most of the year it was thought that Canadian forward Nolan Patrick would get picked first overall at the entry draft. However, as the date got closer and closer, many people said that New Jersey, the team with the first overall pick, was leaning more towards the Swiss forward Nico Hischier.

When the draft begun, those suspicions were confirmed when New Jersey announced the first overall pick, Nico Hischier. Philadelphia took Patrick second overall. Miro Heiskanen went to Dallas at number three, Cale Makar to Colorado at number four, and Elias Pettersson rounded out the top five, going to Vancouver.

Now that both the drafts are finished we look ahead to July 1st, where many NHL free agents will be signing new contracts.