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Canes Country’s 2017 Mock Expansion Draft: Viva Las Vegas

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Who gets a one-way ticket to the Strip tomorrow night? If we were the Golden Knights’ GM, here’s how the team would look.

Las Vegas NHL Franchise Reveals Team Name And Logo
“Are you sure we can fit ‘Marchessault’ on the back of our jerseys?”
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights are one day away from having a roster that consists of more than a couple of spare parts on CapFriendly. But since it’s 2017 and everyone’s a GM these days, we at Canes Country decided to give Vegas GM George McPhee a little help in assembling his roster.

Members of the writing staff used the SB Nation expansion draft tool (we are, after all, company men and women) to assemble our roster. We followed largely the same rules that the Golden Knights have to follow in assembling their team, with one exception: in forming our rosters, we assumed that no side deals would be made and the list is what it is. That doesn’t mean, though, that teams couldn’t be assembled with future trades in mind, and indeed some of our rosters loaded up on potential trade-deadline bait.

What did we learn in this process?

  • Petr Mrazek being left exposed by the Red Wings threw a monkey wrench into the whole Marc-Andre Fleury, Future Golden Knight storyline. While six of our writers still shipped Fleury to Vegas, three saw Bryan Rust on the available list and grabbed him instead.
  • Jonathan Marchessault should just go ahead and start scouting apartments right now. He’s the only player from any team who was unanimous in being selected on all ten rosters.
  • An honorable mention goes to the Wild’s Matt Dumba, named on nine of ten rosters. The PredatorsJames Neal and Marko Dano from the Jets were named on eight apiece.
  • On the flip side, no one’s really sure who’s leaving the Coyotes or Islanders. Six different players from each of those teams were named on our ten rosters, with Alexander Burmistrov and Ryan Strome the only ones to appear more than once.
  • In the honorable mention category, five players were named on at least one roster from the Sharks, Flyers, Flames and Blues.
  • Could Eric Staal be the first captain of the Golden Knights? At least one person says yes.
  • And what of the Hurricanes? Seven of us think that Lee Stempniak is headed west, two went with Joakim Nordstrom, and one plucked Eddie Lack off the Canes’ list.

Below are our rosters. Whose does your own match up closest with? We’ll find out the real roster tomorrow night during the NHL Awards show in — you guessed it — Las Vegas.


Brian (16 F, 11 D, 3 G, $49.5m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Josh Manson D Anaheim $825,000
Kevin Connauton D Arizona $1,000,000
Colin Miller D Boston $1,000,000
William Carrier F Buffalo $689,000
Lance Bouma F Calgary $2,200,000
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Mikhail Grigorenko F Colorado RFA
William Karlsson F Columbus $1,000,000
Jamie Oleksiak D Dallas RFA
Petr Mrazek G Detroit $4,000,000
Jujhar Khaira F Edmonton $675,000
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Brandon Davidson D Montreal $1,425,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Devante Smith-Pelly F New Jersey $1,300,000
Josh Bailey F NY Islanders $3,300,000
Jesper Fast F NY Rangers RFA
Andrew Hammond G Ottawa $1,400,000
Michal Neuvirth G Philadelphia $2,500,000
Bryan Rust F Pittsburgh $640,000
Mikkel Boedker F San Jose $4,000,000
David Perron F St. Louis $3,750,000
Cedric Paquette F Tampa Bay $812,500
Martin Marincin D Toronto $1,250,000
Luca Sbisa D Vancouver $3,600,000
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Peter (17 F, 10 D, 3 G, $52.4M cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Alexander Burmistrov F Arizona RFA
Colin Miller D Boston $1,000,000
William Carrier F Buffalo $689,000
Alex Chiasson D Calgary RFA
Joakim Nordstrom F Carolina $1,275,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Calvin Pickard G Colorado $1,000,000
Matt Calvert F Columbus $2,200,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Petr Mrazek G Detroit $4,000,000
Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton RFA
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Daniel Carr F Montreal $725,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Mike Cammalleri F New Jersey $5,000,000
Dennis Seidenberg D NY Islanders $1,250,000
Michael Grabner F NY Rangers $1,650,000
Marc Methot D Ottawa $4,900,000
Michael Raffl F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Bryan Rust F Pittsburgh $640,000
Aaron Dell G San Jose $625,000
Jori Lehtera F St. Louis $4,700,000
Slater Koekkoek D Tampa Bay RFA
Brendan Leipsic F Toronto RFA
Brendan Gaunce F Vancouver RFA
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Kyle (18 F, 9 D, 3 G, $59.7m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Peter Holland F Arizona RFA
Colin Miller D Boston $1,000,000
William Carrier F Buffalo $689,000
Hunter Shinkaruk F Calgary $863,000
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Ville Pokka D Chicago RFA
Mikhail Grigorenko F Colorado RFA
Joonas Korpisalo G Columbus $900,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Petr Mrazek G Detroit $4,000,000
Jujhar Khaira F Edmonton $675,000
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Charles Hudon F Montreal $650,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Mike Cammalleri F New Jersey $5,000,000
Ryan Strome F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Oscar Lindberg F NY Rangers RFA
Bobby Ryan F Ottawa $7,250,000
Matt Read F Philadelphia $3,625,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
Brenden Dillon D San Jose $3,270,000
Nail Yakupov F St. Louis RFA
Slater Koekkoek F Tampa Bay RFA
Alexey Marchenko D Toronto $1,450,000
Brendan Gaunce F Vancouver RFA
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Andy (18 F, 9 D, 3 G, $62.8m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Jamie McGinn F Arizona $3,333,333
Matt Beleskey F Boston $3,800,000
Linus Ullmark G Buffalo $750,000
Lance Bouma F Calgary $2,200,000
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Marcus Kruger F Chicago $3,083,333
Calvin Pickard G Colorado $1,000,000
Zac Dalpe F Columbus $725,000
Nick Ebert F Dallas RFA
Xavier Ouellet D Detroit RFA
Benoit Pouliot F Edmonton $4,000,000
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Daniel Carr F Montreal $725,000
Austin Watson F Nashville RFA
Ben Lovejoy D New Jersey $2,666,667
Brock Nelson F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Adam Clendening D NY Rangers RFA
Marc Methot D Ottawa $4,900,000
Dale Weise F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
Mikkel Boedker F San Jose $4,000,000
David Perron F St. Louis $3,750,000
Cedric Paquette F Tampa Bay $812,000
Eric Fehr F Toronto $2,000,000
Brendan Gaunce F Vancouver RFA
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Shawn Matthias F Winnipeg $2,125,000


Justin (17 F, 9 D, 4 G, $57.7m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Teemu Pulkkinen F Arizona RFA
Malcolm Subban G Boston RFA
Zach Bogosian D Buffalo $5,143,000
Hunter Shinkaruk F Calgary $863,000
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Mikhail Grigorenko F Colorado RFA
Matt Calvert F Columbus $2,220,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Ryan Sproul D Detroit $625,000
Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton RFA
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Kyle Clifford F Los Angeles $1,600,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Stefan Matteau F Montreal RFA
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Devante Smith-Pelly F New Jersey $1,300,000
Ryan Strome F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Michael Grabner F NY Rangers $1,650,000
Bobby Ryan F Ottawa $7,250,000
T.J. Brennan D Philadelphia $625,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
David Schlemko D San Jose $2,100,000
Nail Yakupov F St. Louis RFA
J.T. Brown F Tampa Bay $1,250,000
Garret Sparks G Toronto RFA
Luca Sbisa D Vancouver $3,600,000
Philipp Grubauer G Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Brandon (18 F, 9 D, 3 G, $70.7m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Josh Manson D Anaheim $825,000
Alexander Burmistrov F Arizona RFA
Matt Beleskey F Boston $3,800,000
Zach Bogosian D Buffalo $5,143,000
Troy Brouwer F Calgary $4,500,000
Joakim Nordstrom F Carolina $1,275,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Calvin Pickard G Colorado $1,000,000
William Karlsson F Columbus $1,000,000
Jamie Oleksiak D Dallas RFA
Petr Mrazek G Detroit $4,000,000
Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton RFA
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Dustin Brown F Los Angeles $5,875,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Tomas Plekanec F Montreal $6,000,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Mike Cammalleri F New Jersey $5,000,000
Ryan Strome F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Antti Raanta G NY Rangers $1,000,000
Bobby Ryan F Ottawa $7,250,000
Michael Raffl F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Bryan Rust F Pittsburgh $640,000
Mikkel Boedker F San Jose $4,000,000
Dmitrij Jaskin F St. Louis $1,000,000
Jake Dotchin D Tampa Bay RFA
Brendan Leipsic F Toronto RFA
Luca Sbisa D Vancouver $3,600,000
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Cody (17 F, 10 D, 3 G, $71.7m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Brad Richardson F Arizona $2,083,333
Jimmy Hayes F Boston $2,300,000
Linus Ullmark G Buffalo $750,000
Matt Stajan F Calgary $3,125,000
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Joe Colborne F Colorado $2,500,000
Matt Calvert F Columbus $2,200,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Tomas Nosek F Detroit $612,000
Iiro Pakarinen F Edmonton $725,000
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Matt Greene D Los Angeles $2,500,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Alexei Emelin D Montreal $4,100,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Devante Smith-Pelly F New Jersey $1,300,000
Casey Cizikas F NY Islanders $3,350,000
Antti Raanta G NY Rangers $1,000,000
Marc Methot D Ottawa $4,900,000
Dale Weise F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
Brenden Dillon D San Jose $3,270,000
Kyle Brodziak F St. Louis $950,000
J.T. Brown F Tampa Bay $1,250,000
Martin Marincin D Toronto $1,250,000
Alex Biega D Vancouver $750,000
Jay Beagle F Washington $1,750,000
Mark Stuart D Winnipeg $2,625,000


Zeke (17 F, 10 D, 3 G, $69.5m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Josh Manson D Anaheim $825,000
Alexander Burmistrov F Arizona RFA
Matt Beleskey F Boston $3,800,000
Josh Gorges D Buffalo $3,900,000
Alex Chiasson D Calgary RFA
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Marcus Kruger F Chicago $3,083,333
Mark Barberio D Colorado $750,000
Jack Johnson D Columbus $4,357,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Petr Mrazek G Detroit $4,000,000
Benoit Pouliot F Edmonton $4,000,000
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Brandon Davidson D Montreal $1,425,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Beau Bennett F New Jersey RFA
Ryan Strome F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Antti Raanta G NY Rangers $1,000,000
Bobby Ryan F Ottawa $7,250,000
Michael Raffl F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Carl Hagelin F Pittsburgh $4,000,000
Joel Ward F San Jose $3,275,000
David Perron F St. Louis $3,750,000
Jake Dotchin D Tampa Bay RFA
Martin Marincin D Toronto $1,250,000
Alex Biega D Vancouver $750,000
Philipp Grubauer G Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Jamie (16 F, 10 D, 4 G, $67.4m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Alexander Burmistrov F Arizona RFA
Jimmy Hayes F Boston $2,300,000
Linus Ullmark G Buffalo $750,000
Lance Bouma F Calgary $2,200,000
Eddie Lack G Carolina $2,750,000
Marcus Kruger F Chicago $3,083,333
Mark Barberio D Colorado $750,000
Jack Johnson D Columbus $4,357,000
Cody Eakin F Dallas $3,850,000
Xavier Ouellet D Detroit RFA
Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton RFA
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Brayden McNabb D Los Angeles $1,700,000
Eric Staal F Minnesota $3,500,000
Charles Hudon F Montreal $650,000
Colton Sissons F Nashville $625,000
Mike Cammalleri F New Jersey $5,000,000
Nikolai Kulemin F NY Islanders $4,188,000
Antti Raanta G NY Rangers $1,000,000
Bobby Ryan F Ottawa $7,250,000
Dale Weise F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
Mikkel Boedker F San Jose $4,000,000
Nail Yakupov F St. Louis RFA
Jake Dotchin D Tampa Bay RFA
Martin Marincin D Toronto $1,250,000
Luca Sbisa D Vancouver $3,600,000
Nate Schmidt D Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000


Brett (15 F, 11 D, 4 G, $52.1m cap hit)

Player Position Former team Cap hit
Player Position Former team Cap hit
Sami Vatanen D Anaheim $4,875,000
Alexander Burmistrov F Arizona RFA
Colin Miller D Boston $1,000,000
Zach Bogosian D Buffalo $5,143,333
Alex Chiasson F Calgary RFA
Lee Stempniak F Carolina $2,500,000
Trevor van Riemsdyk D Chicago $825,000
Calvin Pickard G Colorado $1,000,000
William Karlsson F Columbus $1,000,000
Curtis McKenzie F Dallas $700,000
Xavier Ouellet D Detroit RFA
Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton RFA
Jonathan Marchessault F Florida $750,000
Nick Shore F Los Angeles RFA
Matt Dumba D Minnesota $2,550,000
Charles Hudon F Montreal $650,000
James Neal F Nashville $5,000,000
Jon Merrill D New Jersey $1,138,000
Ryan Strome F NY Islanders $2,500,000
Antti Raanta G NY Rangers $1,000,000
Marc Methot D Ottawa $4,900,000
Michael Raffl F Philadelphia $2,350,000
Marc-Andre Fleury G Pittsburgh $5,750,000
Mikkel Boedker F San Jose $4,000,000
Nail Yakupov F St. Louis RFA
Slater Koekkoek D Tampa Bay RFA
Brendan Leipsic F Toronto RFA
Luca Sbisa D Vancouver $3,600,000
Philipp Grubauer G Washington RFA
Marko Dano F Winnipeg $850,000