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Tag: Chris Casto

Right Handed Defensemen Lacking On Roster Full Of Defensemen

Much has been made about the total number of defensemen under Vegas Golden Knights control and how it may affect trades, waivers, scratches, and more. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s time we point it out.

The Golden Knights have 14 defensemen under contract (including Nate Schmidt). One of them is Erik Brannstrom, who we expect to head back to Sweden rather than stay with in Vegas with the NHL club. Of the 13 who are staying in Vegas or Chicago, a whopping three shoot right handed.

Now, don’t go freaking out too much, teams have utilized defensive pairings of two left handers before, but the handedness (that a word?) of the players on the roster may be able to give us some hints on what may happen in the future.

Colin Miller, Deryk Engelland, and Chris Casto are the three right handed blueliners. Miller was likely to be among the top two pairings no matter what, but this basically confirms it. It’s Engelland and Casto that make things a bit more interesting.

We’ve always assumed Engelland would be either a third line defenseman or even a healthy scratch as his strongest talents lie in checking, fighting, and general badassery. However, being right handed may be his ticket to significant minutes at least early on in the season for the Golden Knights.

That brings us to Casto, a player initially expected to have a guaranteed ticket to Chicago. He’s spent the last three seasons in the AHL with the Providence Bruins including last year when he played in all 16 playoff games. An undrafted free agent signed by Boston in 2013, he’s yet to appear in an NHL game. He’ll be competing with the likes of Luca Sbisa, Jason Garrison, Clayton Stoner, Jon Merrill, and Griffin Reinhart, but the fact remains he’s got a “hand” up on the competition.

Finally, remember the name Matt Dumba? The 22-year-old budding superstar from ¬†Minnesota the Golden Knights passed over for Alex Tuch and Erik Haula? Yeah, you guessed it, he’s right handed too. Whoops?

Camp is still about a month and a half out, and roster movement is likely before we reach October 6th, but the fact remains, one side of the boat is a bit heavier than the other, and it may be an issue down the stream.

Emelin Traded, Quiet Day Of Free Agency, Development Camp Shootout

July 1st is always a big day in the NHL, and especially for the Golden Knights who still had trades to make, players to sign, and rookie camp to wrap up. But when the sun set on the first day of the first league year in Vegas NHL history, there was just a single transaction that made waves.

The Golden Knights traded Alexei Emelin, who they selected from the Montreal Canadiens in the Expansion Draft, to the Nashville Predators for a 2019 3rd round pick. Vegas also agreed to retain $1.2M of Emelin’s salary, something they could not agree to do during the Expansion Draft. The trade gives the Golden Knights three 3rd round picks in the 2019 Draft and a 12 total in that draft.

Emelin was the most likely defenseman to be flipped from the Expansion Draft after Marc Methot was sent out earlier in the week. McPhee is likely to trade one more defenseman before the end of the long weekend. The leading candidates are Luca Sbisa, Clayton Stoner, or Jon Merrill.

On the first day of free agency, Vegas was expectedly quiet signing six players who will all likely play in the minor leagues next season.

Brad Hunt (D), Chris Casto (D), Paul Thompson (F), Stefan Matteau (F), T.J. Tynan (F), and Maxime Lagace (G)

All six were signed to contracts worth $650,000 if they play at the NHL level.

Hunt, Thompson, and Matteau have all have NHL experience. Matteau is also noted because he was selected in the 1st round (29th overall) of the 2012 Draft by the New Jersey Devils, and his father scored the goal on one of the greatest TV calls ever.

Finally, Development Camp wrapped up with a final scrimmage and a subsequent shootout. Here are some highlights.

All in all, Development Camp was more of an orientation to NHL in Vegas for the 44 players who participated, but that didn’t stop Alex Tuch and Erik Brannstrom from shining on the ice. Next time we’ll see Golden Knights on the ice will be on September 7th when rookies report to training camp.

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