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.