Unfortunately, as the Stanley Cup Final rolls on, the Golden Knights have officially begun the offseason. With the 2021 season running into July due to the late start, this is as jam-packed an offseason as we’ve ever seen in the NHL. Here’s a primer of what’s coming up, when, and where the Golden Knights stand.
Typically on July 1st, free agency opens this summer on July 28th at 9 AM Pacific Time.
The Golden Knights currently have 42 players under contract with 18 of them on the NHL roster. Here is a list of those players with the number of years left on their contract in parentheses.
*Restricted free agent upon expiry (VGK remain rights)
NHL: Mark Stone (6), Max Pacioretty (2), William Karlsson (6), Jonathan Marchessault (3), Reilly Smith (1), Alex Tuch (5), Chandler Stephenson (3), Ryan Reaves (1), William Carrier (3), Nic Roy (1*), Keegan Kolesar (1*)
Minors: Jack Dugan (1*), Pavel Dorofeyev (2*), Cody Glass (1*), Peyton Krebs (3*), Mason Primeau (3*), Maxim Marushev (2*), Jonas Rondbjerg (1*), Marcus Kallionkieli (3*), Jake Leschyshyn (1*), Lucas Elvenes (1*), Ben Jones (1*), Paul Cotter (2*)
NHL: Alex Pietrangelo (6), Shea Theodore (4), Brayden McNabb (1), Nick Holden (1), Nic Hague (1*), Zach Whitecloud (1*)
Minors: Layton Ahac (3*), Peter Diliberatore (2*), Daniil Miromanov (1*), Connor Corcoran (2*), Lukas Cormier (3*), Zack Hayes (2*), Kaedan Korczak (3*), Brayden Pachal (1*), Jake Bischoff (1)
NHL: Marc-Andre Fleury (1), Robin Lehner (4)
Minors: Jiri Patera (2*), Logan Thompson (1*), Dylan Ferguson (1*)
The Golden Knights have just one restricted free agent. That is Dylan Coghlan. Coghlan played 29 NHL games this past season which means he is not eligible for a larger qualifying offer. The Golden Knights may extend him a one-year, two-way offer worth $750,000. Coghlan does not have arbitration rights this year.
This leaves seven players who played NHL games for the Golden Knights as unrestricted free agents this summer. They are Tomas Nosek, Mattias Janmark, Dylan Sikura, Patrick Brown, Tomas Jurco, Alec Martinez, and Oscar Dansk. The Golden Knights hold each of these players’ rights until July 28th at which point they become free to sign with any team.
Vegas also has seven players from the AHL roster who are set to become unrestricted free agents. They are Tyrell Goulbourne, Danny O’Regan, Reid Duke, Gage Quinney, Carl Dahlstrom, Nick DeSimone, and Jimmy Schuldt.
The Golden Knights are exempt from the Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken happening from July 17th to July 20th. Selections will be announced on July 21st at 5:00 PM.
Being exempt does not mean the Expansion Draft will not have ramifications on the Golden Knights, nor does it mean they cannot participate in trades before or after.
All rosters lock for the three days during the Expansion Draft. It is unclear whether or not the Golden Knights are allowed to re-sign their own players during this time, but it is clear that no trades can be completed with any team during that three-day window.
Trades are definitely expected to happen immediately before the Expansion Draft, with Seattle during the Expansion Draft announcement (July 21), and after as the Kraken sort through their 30 new players. The Golden Knights made 15 trades in and around their Expansion Draft, Seattle can be expected to do something similar.
Remember, teams can exceed the salary cap by 10% during the offseason. So, the Golden Knights will have plenty of space to add players without having to immediately subtract.
Every player on the Golden Knights is exempt from the Expansion Draft, but the following players remain exempt even if they are to be traded to another franchise.
Jack Dugan, Pavel Dorofeyev, Peyton Krebs, Peter Diliberatore, Cody Glass, Connor Corcoran, Lukas Cormier, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jiri Patera, Kaedan Korczak, Marcus Kallionkieli, Jake Leschyshyn, Lucas Elvenes, Brayden Pachal, Paul Cotter, Ben Jones, and Dylan Ferguson
NHL Entry Draft
The Entry Draft, or rookie draft, is scheduled for July 23rd and 24th. The Golden Knights finished 29th in the NHL this season. With the addition of Seattle, that means their 1st round selection will be slotted in at #30. Here are the rest of their picks as currently slated.
Round 1 – #30
Round 2 – #36 (from NJD in exchange for Nikita Gusev)
Round 3 – None
Round 4 – #114 (from WPG in exchange for Cody Eakin)
Round 5 – #155 (from CAR in exchange for Erik Haula)
Round 6 – #190
Round 7 – #222
The tentative start date for next season is October 12th, 2021. It is planned to be a full 82-game season with a normal schedule.
Seattle is taking the place of Arizona in the Pacific Division.
Training Camps are slated to open on September 22nd.