NHL Expansion Draft Winners and Losers

In a pillaging the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Vikings ransacked England in 793; the Vegas Golden Knights ran roughshod across the NHL in their expansion draft. The war was fought across the battlefield of Twitter, and the existing teams were forced to offer tributes, like some weird, ice-based Hunger Games. On a balmy Wednesday night in Las Vegas, General George McPhee‘s forces swept in, conscripting a team and forcing them to wear gaudy armor. From that night came winners and losers: some teams hold their heads high, others, like this metaphor, have been left in disarray.

Winners

Marc-Andre Fleury

The former Penguins goalie may have been second choice in Pittsburgh, but he’s still a great goalie and now he’s the face of the Golden Knights. The Flower has three Stanley Cups and gives the Knights a great starting point to build from. He has a few more good years left in him and will be a role model for the younger goalies.

Jonathan Marchessault

It’s hard to justify why Marchessault was left unprotected by the Florida Panthers. The forward has just come off a 30 goal season. The best news for Marchessault is that he’s now no longer part of the Panthers’ dumpster fire. Likely to find a home on the second, or maybe even the first line, he was one of the few players that we all agreed on during our mock draft.

The Golden Knights’ Blue Line

The drafting of Marc Methot was a real coup for the Knights who are trying to buck the trend of expansion teams sucking by building¬†from the back. Expect him to be paired with Alexei Emelin. Vegas’ blue line already has depth; Jason Garrison, Brayden McNabb, Deryk Engelland,¬†Griffin Reinhart and, um, Luca Sbisa all give the team options in front of Fleury’s goal.

Reid Duke

Finally has friends to play soccer with.

Carl Landra

Here at 4th Line Towers, we ran our own mock draft and Carl picked a whopping 14 correct picks. Most of us only managed 10. Bragging rights are his. Just don’t ask him about his fantasy Nascar team…

Losers

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings put all of their eggs in one basket by choosing to expose Petr Mrazek over Jimmy Howard, sending the internet crazy. Perhaps his ‘attitude issues’ put McPhee off drafting the Czech national goalie. Whatever the reason, the Wings are now stuck with two great goalies eating up the salary cap. Even if Vegas didn’t really want Mrazek, they could have flipped him for more than Tomas Nosek is worth.

Nashville Predators

We all picked James Neal in our mock draft, and with good reason. He’s a capable, versatile winger who brings experiences and points. Good news for Vegas, not so much for Nashville who have to switch things up moving forward. His 41 points in the regular season played a big part in the Preds reaching the playoffs, and six post season goals definitely helped get the team to the final.

The Fans

The decision to mix the expansion draft with the NHL awards was dumb. I get that the NHL made the decision so that people would actually watch the awards show, but it was like watching a car crash and the fans suffered, no more please NHL. Just tweet the results next time so we can all get on with our lives.

Who were your winners and losers? Comment below or join in the conversation on twitter.

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