If there’s one thing you can always count on with the Golden Knights, it’s that they’ll be active at the trade deadline. And, to go along with that, they’re certainly not afraid to complete a blockbuster trade or two.
So, every time we approach this time of year the question of present vs. future makes its way into the discourse surrounding the team.
To this point, still with about 20 hours to go before the deadline officially passes, the Golden Knights have added three players while sending out a former 1st round prospect, a 3rd round pick, a 7th round pick, and their fourth-string goalie.
What they have not done is part ways with any of their premium picks for next year’s draft or beyond. While the Golden Knights only have one of the previous eight 1st round picks they have owned, they do still maintain control of all of their 1st round picks for the future.
That doesn’t mean moving a 1st round pick was completely off the table this year.
We prioritize our draft picks, our players in Henderson, our drafted players, we talk about all of that and we end up with what we call our untouchables, things we wouldn’t do. I can’t say that we wouldn’t have traded a 1st round pick. There’s a time for that depending on what the return is and depending on your ability to retain that player. -Kelly McCrimmon
The Golden Knights were rumored to be heavily involved in Timo Meier, who eventually went to the Devils for two 1st round picks along with a bevy of prospects. Vegas has spent 1st round picks in the past on players like Tomas Tatar and Jack Eichel, both players who came with contracts that extended well past the end of that season. This leads to the one situation the Golden Knights were absolutely not willing to do with their most valuable offseason asset.
We felt really strongly we wouldn’t trade a 1st round pick on a rental player this year. That might be different in another year. It wasn’t a situation where we approached the deadline saying under no circumstances would we trade a 1st round pick. If a deal was there that demanded or justified a 1st round pick that gave us more than just a short-term return we would have looked at it. -McCrimmon
With time still left on the clock, the Golden Knights theoretically could still find the perfect fit in which they’d move their 2023 1st round pick. But as for now, while it certainly could have happened, it appears the deadline will pass with Vegas’ 1st round pick still in tow.