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Golden Knights Draft Picks: Who Are These Guys?

The Golden Knights draft got underway one day later than most teams due to the trade that sent Vegas’ first pick to the Red Wings for Tomas Tatar. On Day 2 of the Draft they have seven picks starting with #61, the penultimate pick of the 2nd round.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we know about each player selected by the Golden Knights in the 2018 NHL Draft.

2nd Round – #61 overall
Selection: Ivan Morozov, C

Ivan Morozov has been very noticeable both in the MHL and for Russia U18 NT with his skillset and 200ft game. -@RUSProspects

Photo courtesy of Vegas Golden Knights (Twitter @GoldenKnights)

4th Round – #99 overall (from Vancouver, acquired with Ryan Reaves)
Selection: Stanislav Demin, D

A California-born defenseman who last year was one of the best (and youngest) 2018 first-year eligibles to play in the BCHL. Demin, a Denver commit whose CHL rights are owned by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, will play for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka. He’s got good size, a hard shot and skates extremely well. Demin is a three-zone defender who plays more mature than you’d think, and he didn’t crack under the pressure of consistently playing against opposing top lines. If the Americans want to repeat the success they had at last year’s Hlinka, they’ll need Demin’s puck-carrying skills and well-timed pinches to set the tone for what is sure to be a swarming attack. -Steve Kournianos,

4th Round – #115 (from Pittsburgh, acquired with Tampa Bay Expansion Draft considerations)
Selection: Paul Cotter, F

Crafty playmaking forward with the ability to finish who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Cotter, who is committed to Western Michigan University, was one of the top scorers in the NAHL before earning his way onto Lincoln’s deep lineup. He is a strong finisher around the net and develops quick chemistry with whomever his linemates are. There was an expectation that he would be more of a two-way depth player during his transition to a superior league, but Cotter has developed into a scoring threat thanks to his deadly shot/release combo and very good straight-line speed. You never have to worry about him failing to show up — he battles hard and competes from whistle to whistle, plus can create problems during the forecheck. -Steve Kournianos,

5th Round – #135 (from Carolina, acquired for Marcus Kruger)
Selection: Brandon Kruse, F

Named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team … appeared in all 41 games for the Falcons on the season … tallied 33 points by eight goals and 25 assists, the most of the freshman class and second most on the Bowling Green squad.

5th Round – #154
Selection: Connor Corcoran, D

He is a good skater with good mobility and puck skills which allow him to carry the puck from the back end and beat forecheckers. Connor is strong along the boards at both ends of the rink and uses his physical size to his advantage. Connor’s versatility will be a big asset for him moving forward in his hockey career. -Dominic Tiano,

6th Round – #180 (from Toronto, acquired for Calvin Pickard)
Selection: Peter Diliberatore, D

He’s a mobile, offensive-minded defenseman who skates well. He gets pucks on net from the point, can break it out of his own zone and start the transition. He has a good stick, but his play in his own zone is still a work in progress. -Jeff Cox,

6th Round – #185
Selection: Xavier Bouchard, D

Bigger things were expected from the sophomore defenceman this year. Things haven’t panned out exactly as hoped though. Bouchard’s numbers dropped as he put up three goals and 18 assists for 21 points in 65 games. He also went from a respectable -4 as a rookie, to a -30 in his second year in the league. These drops should be concerning, especially as there was little change in the fortunes of the Baie Comeau team. They finished 13th out of 18 teams in the QMJHL in both seasons. -Ben Kerr,

7th Round – #208 (from Pittsburgh, acquired at 2018 Draft)
Selection: Jordan Kooy, G

Bobby Ryan Is A Misfit, Making Him A Golden Misfit Wouldn’t Be As Bad As Most Make It Out To Seem

Fan reaction to trade rumors can range widely, but there always seems to be one constant. The minute someone mentions the name Bobby Ryan the conversation turns sour.

Let’s go back in time. The New Jersey native was drafted #2nd overall in the 2005 NHL Draft. Also known as, the Sidney Crosby draft. Ryan lived up to his potential right away. In his rookie season, the right-handed forward scored 31 goals and was a Calder Trophy finalist. By the time his entry-level contract ran out, Ryan had 131 career points (71 goals, 60 Assists) and 26 Power-Play goals. Altogether, in five full seasons with Anaheim, Ryan scored 30 or more goals four times. The Ducks liked Ryan enough after his third season in the NHL to sign him to a five year, $25.5 million contract, his first massive deal.

Reilly Smith was Florida’s Bobby Ryan. Look how that worked out in Vegas. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After the shortened 2012-13 season, Anaheim moved the then 25-year-old forward to Ottawa for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 2014 1st Round pick. At the time, it looked like Ottawa pulled off one heck of a trade. One they liked so much that they offered Ryan $50.75 million over the next seven years.

Fast forward five years later, the once four-time 30 goal-scorer is no longer the hot commodity he was in his first nine seasons in the league. The past two seasons he’s missed 20 games each year, scored just 13 and 11 goals, saw his ice time dip about two minutes per game and didn’t reach 35 points in either year, something he had done in each of the previous eight seasons. Quite simply, the production Ryan has offered has not been worth anything near $7.25 million per year.

So what went wrong?

Read More Podcast #114: Aggressive Offseason Plans

Year 2 is officially underway and we’re ready for a wild offseason for the Vegas Golden Knights. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Ken’s newfound belief that it’ll be not just one big move but two
  • Talent vs. teamwork
  • Schedule release discussion
  • A little public service announcement about the term #2Years1Cup
  • Offseason predictions

And much more…

We are on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Subscribe now!

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Golden Knights 2018-19 Schedule Released


We knew the opener and game two, but now we have the entire Golden Knights schedule. Here’s the entire schedule followed by some observations…

Thu. 10/4/18 Philadelphia Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 10/6/18 Vegas Minnesota 7:00 PM
Mon. 10/8/18 Vegas Buffalo 12:00 PM
Wed. 10/10/18 Vegas Washington 5:00 PM
Thu. 10/11/18 Vegas Pittsburgh 4:00 PM
Sat. 10/13/18 Vegas Philadelphia 10:00 AM
Tue. 10/16/18 Buffalo Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 10/20/18 Anaheim Vegas 7:00 PM
Wed. 10/24/18 Vancouver Vegas 7:00 PM
Fri. 10/26/18 Tampa Bay Vegas 3:00 PM
Sun. 10/28/18 Ottawa Vegas 5:00 PM
Tue. 10/30/18 Vegas Nashville 5:00 PM
Thu. 11/1/18 Vegas St. Louis 5:00 PM
Sat. 11/3/18 Carolina Vegas 7:00 PM
Tue. 11/6/18 Vegas Toronto 4:00 PM
Thu. 11/8/18 Vegas Ottawa 4:30 PM
Sat. 11/10/18 Vegas Montreal 4:00 PM
Sun. 11/11/18 Vegas Boston 4:00 PM
Wed. 11/14/18 Anaheim Vegas 7:30 PM
Fri. 11/16/18 St. Louis Vegas 7:00 PM
Sun. 11/18/18 Vegas Edmonton 5:00 PM
Mon. 11/19/18 Vegas Calgary 6:00 PM
Wed. 11/21/18 Vegas Arizona 6:00 PM
Fri. 11/23/18 Calgary Vegas 3:00 PM
Sat. 11/24/18 San Jose Vegas 7:00 PM
Tue. 11/27/18 Vegas Chicago 5:30 PM
Thu. 11/29/18 Vegas Vancouver 7:00 PM
Sat. 12/1/18 Vegas Edmonton 7:00 PM
Tue. 12/4/18 Washington Vegas 7:00 PM
Thu. 12/6/18 Chicago Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 12/8/18 Vegas Los Angeles 1:00 PM
Sun. 12/9/18 Dallas Vegas 6:00 PM
Wed. 12/12/18 Vegas N.Y. Islanders 5:00 PM
Fri. 12/14/18 Vegas New Jersey 5:00 PM
Sun. 12/16/18 Vegas N.Y. Rangers 10:00 PM
Mon. 12/17/18 Vegas Columbus 4:00 PM
Thu. 12/20/18 N.Y. Islanders Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 12/22/18 Montreal Vegas 1:00 PM
Sun. 12/23/18 Los Angeles Vegas 5:00 PM
Thu. 12/27/18 Colorado Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 12/29/18 Vegas Los Angeles 1:00 PM
Sun. 12/30/18 Vegas Arizona 5:00 PM
Tue. 1/1/19 Los Angeles Vegas 6:00 PM
Fri. 1/4/19 Vegas Anaheim 7:00 PM
Sun. 1/6/19 New Jersey Vegas 1:00 PM
Tue. 1/8/19 N.Y. Rangers Vegas 7:00 PM
Thu. 1/10/19 San Jose Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 1/12/19 Vegas Chicago 5:30 PM
Tue. 1/15/19 Vegas Winnipeg 5:00 PM
Sat. 1/19/19 Pittsburgh Vegas 7:00 PM
Mon. 1/21/19 Minnesota Vegas 3:00 PM
Wed. 1/23/19 Nashville Vegas 7:00 PM
Fri. 2/1/19 Vegas Carolina 4:30 PM
Sat. 2/2/19 Vegas Florida 4:00 PM
Tue. 2/5/19 Vegas Tampa Bay 4:30 PM
Thu. 2/7/19 Vegas Detroit 4:30 PM
Sat. 2/9/19 Columbus Vegas 7:00 PM
Tue. 2/12/19 Arizona Vegas 7:00 PM
Thu. 2/14/19 Toronto Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 2/16/19 Nashville Vegas 7:00 PM
Mon. 2/18/19 Vegas Colorado 6:00 PM
Wed. 2/20/19 Boston Vegas 7:00 PM
Fri. 2/22/19 Winnipeg Vegas 7:00 PM
Tue. 2/26/19 Dallas Vegas 7:00 PM
Thu. 2/28/19 Florida Vegas 7:00 PM
Fri. 3/1/19 Vegas Anaheim 7:00 PM
Sun. 3/3/19 Vancouver Vegas 1:00 PM
Wed. 3/6/19 Calgary Vegas 7:30 PM
Sat. 3/9/19 Vegas Vancouver 7:00 PM
Sun. 3/10/19 Vegas Calgary 7:30 PM
Fri. 3/15/19 Vegas Dallas 5:00 PM
Sun. 3/17/19 Edmonton Vegas 7:00 PM
Mon. 3/18/19 Vegas San Jose 7:30 PM
Thu. 3/21/19 Winnipeg Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 3/23/19 Detroit Vegas 7:00 PM
Mon. 3/25/19 Vegas St. Louis 5:00 PM
Wed. 3/27/19 Vegas Colorado 7:00 PM
Fri. 3/29/19 Minnesota Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 3/30/19 Vegas San Jose 6:00 PM
Mon. 4/1/19 Edmonton Vegas 7:00 PM
Thu. 4/4/19 Arizona Vegas 7:00 PM
Sat. 4/6/19 Vegas Los Angeles 7:30 PM
  • Stanley Cup Final rematches are on October 10th (away) and December 4th (home
  • First regular season game at home, second not until 10/16/18 , 12 days later
  • 5 of first 6 games on the road
    • 4 of 5 against 2017-18 playoff teams
  • Vegas will play 13 back-to-backs in 2018-19
    • 7 are away/away, 4 are split, and 2 are home/home
    • 1 in October, 3 in November, 4 in December, 0 in January, 2 in February, 3 in March, 0 in April
    • VGK played 10 back-to-backs in 2017-18
  • The bye week is from January 24th to 31st
  • Golden Knights play the LA Kings three times in a nine day stretch
    • 12/23, 12/29, 1/1
  • 12 of the final 17 games are against the Pacific Division
  • Longest road trip is five games (games 2 through 6)
  • Longest homestand is also five games (games 7 through 12)
  • 8 out of 9 games at home in late February

History Shows Trading Young Talent For A Current Superstar Isn’t a Bad Move

Trades involving generational players in their primes are rare in the NHL. Over the course of the last 30 years, it’s happened about five times. Yet, with the Draft getting underway tomorrow and free agency on July 1st, Erik Karlsson’s name could be added to that list any moment.

It seems like Theodore might be on his way to Ottawa if McPhee can complete a deal for Karlsson. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When it comes to a unique talent like Karlsson, every GM in the league will show interest. However, most know they either don’t have the assets or the cap space to acquire the 28-year-old superstar defenseman. Ottawa shipped out Mike Hoffman which solved one problem but they took on salary in the deal, further indicating another deal may be on the horizon. At this point, unless Karlsson is demanding a trade they don’t have to move him. Unfortunately for the Senators, he probably is. Ottawa’s front office may continue to force Bobby Ryan’s hefty contract ($7.25M/4 yrs), forcing some teams to stay away. In the Senators eyes, if the deal isn’t right that’s not their problem.

Erik is a franchise player. We felt that there was no franchise deal out there that could satisfy us to make the best hockey deal. -Pierre Dorion at trade deadline

This may be an unpopular look at the Karlsson to Vegas trade rumors because I know how apprehensive Golden Knights fans are about saying goodbye to their favorite players. Hey, I hear ya. After all, I am the founding member of the Shea Theodore fan club, but it is a business, and if the Golden Knights make a move for Karlsson, their probably on to something.

History tells us teams that make the trade for a star player will usually see major dividends, while the players shipped out tend to have mediocre careers.

  • Los Angeles receives: Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley, and Mike Krushelnyski
  • Edmonton receives: Three 1st round picks, Martin Gelinas, Jimmy Carson, and $15 million

I won’t waste your time going over Gretzky’s statistics or influence after he was traded to LA. The Oilers were really only in it for the cash. They knew they would lose the trade no matter what, so the closest thing of value was millions of dollars. That being said, they did get two players in the deal.

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Golden Knights Results At NHL Awards

Should have been a Selke candidate, could have been a Hart candidate, but the Lady Byng will have to do. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For every Golden Knight, any trophy they win tonight is not the one they really wanted. However, a little hardware for an amazing season never hurt anybody. Vegas has four finalists in four separate categories at the 2018 NHL Awards. William Karlsson is up for Lady Byng (sportsmanship), Deryk Engelland for Mark Messier Leadership Award, Gerard Gallant is a shoe-in for Jack Adams (coach of the year), and George McPhee for GM of the Year.

The other finalists for each award are as follows. (We will update each award with the winner as well as some quotes and whatever else we come across throughout the night)

Lady Byng Trophy

William Karlsson (VGK)
Aleksander Barkov (FLA)
Ryan O’Reilly (BUF)

Winner: William Karlsson

To be honest I’m more nervous, kind of scared. What if I win? I have to go up on the stage, it’s kind of scary. For sure (scarier than playing the Stanley Cup Final). Much more. At least I know what I do on the ice. Going up on the stage and potentially having to speak to a lot of people is a lot scarier. -William Karlsson

It’s very special, just looking back a year ago who would have thought I would have been sitting here nominated for an award, but to win it, it’s been a crazy year. -Karlsson

Messier Leadership Award

Deryk Engelland (VGK)
Wayne Simmonds (PHI)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)

Winner: Deryk Engelland

Read More

Western Conference Champions Plus Plenty Of Cap Space, A GM’s Dream

In physics, there’s a principle that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. When object A exerts force, object B responds with the exact same amount of force in return. If a person sits, the body exerts a downward force against the chair while the chair comes back with an equal upward force against the body. This is called Newton’s Third Law. In hockey, it’s called the salary cap.

Can’t say I’m entirely sure what Newton’s laws would say about this one. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The idea behind the salary cap is to restrain the best teams from going out into free agency, snapping up all the best (and highest paid) players, and becoming even better, all the while seeing the bad teams get worse. It’s designed to promote parity and it does so by creating an opposite force against teams that consistently win.

Luckily for the Golden Knights, the force exerted by the salary cap while opposite, does not have to be equal.

Instead, George McPhee and the Golden Knights sit in most envious of positions.

We have a good team and we don’t have any cap pressures, we’re not tight on the cap. That’s a position you like to avoid, but we’ll see how things shake out. -George McPhee

He’s actually understating it there. The Golden Knights have an elite team, good enough to amass 109 points in the regular season, win the Pacific Division in a landslide, and eventually be crowned the Western Conference Champions. At the same time, Vegas currently sits as the team with the 3rd most salary cap space. They have a whopping $26.475 million of projected available cap space plus the ability to utilize long-term injured reserve (LTIR) to gain another $5+ million.

Oh, and, the Golden Knights have three first draft picks from the top 15 in last year’s draft and 12 picks in the first three rounds of the next three drafts.

Add it all up, and the Golden Knights have absolutely everything necessary to turn a losing team into a winning one, except they weren’t a losing team, instead they were the second best team in all of the NHL.

It’s up to us to put a team on the ice that’s better. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t, but that’s the job, to make them better and to deliver a Stanley Cup, that’s why we’re here. -McPhee

This is where the story gets really good for those who are hoping the Year 1 trip to the Stanley Cup Final wasn’t an anomaly. I asked McPhee if he’s ever been in a position as good as the one he appears to be in right now as the GM of the Golden Knights. The answer I was expecting was “no.” The answer I got was much better.

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Offseason Outlook: Goaltenders

Never could anyone have imagined the Golden Knights goalie depth would be tested the way it was. Five goalies used in the first 17 games gave George McPhee a pretty solid look at the present and the future of the most important position on the ice.

It would seem not much needs to happen between the pipes for the Golden Knights with Marc-Andre Fleury the clear starter, Malcolm Subban a solid backup and Oscar Dansk plus Maxime Lagace manning the crease in the AHL. However, it’s not that simple, and in fact, McPhee has plenty of decisions in the net not only this offseason but moving forward.

Marc-Andre Fleury

It’s a bit of a shame Fleury will not win any awards after that incredible season. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After posting Vezina quality numbers in the regular season and then racing out to become the Conn Smythe favorite before the final series of the playoffs, it appears Fleury’s days as a full-time starter aren’t as numbered as they appeared during the last days in Pittsburgh.

He’s mentioned playing for many more years and recently said he wants to finish his career in Vegas. Fleury has one more season left on his contract scheduled to pay him $5.75 million. Then he would become an unrestricted free agent, something the Golden Knights probably aren’t interested in letting happen.

Things do get a bit tricky though when dealing with the long-term future of a 33-year-old goalie. While it certainly appears his age isn’t getting in the way at this point, that could change at any moment. Signing Fleury to a four or five year deal is risky as his production could slip at any moment, but letting him constantly play on expiring deals keeps the control in the hands of the player rather than the organization.

If Fleury is being completely honest that he wants to finish his career with the Golden Knights, they should play the short-term contract game with him on a gentleman’s agreement that he’ll get a new deal every time he wants one and the price will be fair. There aren’t many players who any GM would be willing to go down that road with, but if there’s one, it’s probably Fleury.

There’s one concern there though, and that’s Pittsburgh. What if they come calling at some point? It’s easy to say he wants to finish his career in Vegas while sitting on stage in the same building as the Campbell Bowl, but if the idea of going back to the Penguins ever became a realistic possibility, he’d likely want to hear it out.

The best course of action for the Golden Knights is likely to keep him one year away from free agency at all times. Extend his contract each offseason so he feels comfortable, while also protecting the organization against the inevitable father time induced decline.

Malcolm Subban, Oscar Dansk, Max Lagace

Only one of these three players currently has a contract with the Golden Knights and that’s Subban. Dansk remains under Golden Knights control as he’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Lagace is an unrestricted free agent set to hit the open market on July 1st if he doesn’t reach a deal with Vegas before then.

Subban still seems to be the clear #2 behind Fleury, but his injury-riddled season has to bring pause to the organization’s desire to commit to him as the heir-apparent. Subban was hurt once during a game early in the year and then found himself unavailable two more times due to injuries that occurred during practice. Subban missed a majority of the postseason and the team opted to use Lagace as the backup over Dansk.

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Free Pucks And Programs From Adam S. Kutner

You don’t have to do half the work this guy did to get that puck. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The guy who has been giving away tickets all season long is back at it again for a massive offseason giveaway.

100 lucky fans will win a game puck and an official program featuring the Vegas Golden Knights.

All you have to do to enter is comment on Facebook under the video embedded below, like Adam’s page, and punch your email into this entry form. Do that, and you might become one of the 100 winners from our friends at Adam S. Kutner & Associates, the best Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney.

**Adam S. Kutner and Associates is an official sponsor of**

The Potential Impact To The Golden Knights Lines If They Sign John Tavares

Adding depth is the goal of every NHL team in the offseason, adding a superstar would be a bonus for any team, but especially conference champion.

I think you can add depth anywhere in our group, that’s going to be real good. What we want to add character people to our group… we had good leadership, we had great character and we had a good work ethic. -Gallant

Erik Haula: Winger? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The nice part about the Golden Knights roster is they have depth within the system. Instead of repurchasing separate parts like James Neal and or David Perron, Vegas could invest roughly the same amount on a top line center like John Tavares. This would allow Erik Haula to move over to wing alongside Tomas Tatar or Alex Tuch. Tavares would give the Golden Knights two legitimate top NHL lines and Haula could easily repeat 25+ goals mostly focusing on getting the puck in the net.

Understandably, it might be a longshot but look at the Golden Knights forward depth chart with the addition of #91.

Karlsson/Marchessault/Smith= 92 Goals
Tavares/Haula/Tatar= 86 Goals
Eakin/Tuch/Nosek= 33 Goals
Bellemare/Reaves/Carpenter= 19 Goals

The previous line of Haula/Neal/Perron scored 70 goals, and that may have been in a year of overachievement. In the regular season, Haula, Neal, and Perron scored 16 fewer goals than the projected combination of Tavares, Haula, and Tatar.

With Tavares, Gallant would probably try to use the top six evenly. Having two top centers, minute and point distribution could benefit Haula’s statistics. Playing with a center who averages .93 points and .53 assists per game over his career can’t hurt.

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