The expansion draft has been on the hockey world’s mind for almost a year now. With the chance that each team would lose at least one player, there was hysteria for some and rejoice from others. The list of players that was announced last weekend available for the Vegas Golden Knights to draft was full of quality players that would make any expansion team great. The Golden Knights had luck on their side, with many teams not wanting to let go of some of their key players they had to expose. This in turn allowed the Golden Knights to not just acquire players, but also draft picks for the upcoming draft and several years to come.

There was a huge amount of buzz surrounding the players that seemed to be an obvious choice for the team. One of the most talked about picks for the Golden Knights was the recent Stanley Cup Champion, Marc-Andre Fleury. His success with the Pittsburgh Penguins over 14 seasons led him to be an obvious choice for a new team. It came as no surprise when he was the final pick for the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft. Fleury has played in nearly 700 NHL games over the course of his career and his veteran net presence is expected to be a huge asset for a team just starting out. With the addition of Calvin Pickard from the Colorado Avalanche and Jean-Francois Berube from the New York Islanders, they already have a great set of goaltenders to start out the season.

Fleury walked on to the stage at the Expansion Draft and into the media room with the same bright smile. It never left his face and the excitement for him was obviously there. Though the adjustment might be big, there’s still a chance for him to be the face of the franchise. He doesn’t necessarily see himself as the “face of anything”, but that’s truly what he’s going to become.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’ll wear it [the jersey] with pride,” said Fleury.

Some other notable picks for the Golden Knights is the Nashville Predators James Neal. Neal has experience playing with Fleury in his four seasons with the Penguins. This chemistry is just one of the examples of why the team could mesh easier than many may think. James Neal had a huge impact on the ice during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Final against his former team. In 22 games, he recorded 6 goals and 3 assists but his presence was always noticed. Neal is a fairly consistent player averaging at least 20 goals a season and will be a huge player for the new team.

The players mentioned before are only a few of the many great assets that the Golden Knights added to their roster. Though I would expect that there might be some potential trades to happen at or before the draft. The team picked 15 defenseman and it’s likely they will not keep them all.

Below is a list of all of the players acquired as well as the draft picks that they will receive.

ROSTER BY POSITION

Forwards: 

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Connor Brickley

William Carrier

David Clarkson

Cody Eakin

Mikhail Grabovski

Nikita Gusev

Erik Haula

William Karlsson

Brendan Leipsic

Oscar Lindberg

Jonathan Marchessault

James Neal

Tomas Nosek

David Perron

Teemu Pulkkinen

Reilly Smith

Chris Thorburn

Alex Tuch

Defensemen:

Jake Bischoff

Deryk Engelland

Alexei Emelin

Jason Garrison

Brayden McNabb

Jon Merrill

Marc Methot

Colin Miller

Luca Sbisa

David Schlemko

Griffin Reinhart

Nate Schmidt

Clayton Stoner

Shea Theodore

Trevor van Riemsdyk

 Goaltenders:

Jean-Francois Berube

Marc-Andre Fleury

Calvin Pickard

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS DRAFT PICKS ACQUIRED THROUGH THE EXPANSION DRAFT

Five in 2017

One in 2018

Three in 2019

One in 2020

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS DRAFT PICKS TRADED DURING EXPANSION DRAFT

Conditional third round pick for either 2017 or 2018 to MIN

Fourth round pick in 2018 to FLA

Sports and fashion are Allison's true passions. She grew up in the household of a professional athlete, and a family blessed with true athletic talent. She, on the other hand, must have been absent on the day that sport skills were passed out! Although, she does possess a zeal that most girls do not have for sports of all kinds, hockey has consumed her life in the most unexplainable way. Sports are such an integral part of who she is, and she is on journey of becoming a part of a professional sports organization. Growing up minutes from the Las Vegas Strip didn't leave Allison with many options for being a sports fan.Spending the majority of her summers on the East Coast, Allison became a fan of all things Boston, and her heart will always have a special place for the city (especially the Bruins). Allison currently is an employee of the Arizona Coyotes and falls more in love with the game each and every day. You can follow Allison on Twitter: @Alli_Galllagher and you can contact her by Email: allison@girlnextscore.com

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