Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Golden Knights Ask Fans for Input on Which Blackhawks Player to Pick

The Golden Knights' selection - one from each National Hockey League club - will be revealed at the 2017 National Hockey League awards and expansion draft on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. "We really like what we're looking at right now". There was the hiring of general manger George McPhee and coach Gerard Gallant, the building of a new arena on the Las Vegas Strip, the announcement of an AHL affiliate, and of course, the reveal of the team name: Vegas Golden Knights. Teams could also protect any combination of eight skaters. Brodziak and Jaskin are players the Blues would certainly love to retain, but could be nice pieces for the Golden Knights to snag to fill immediate roles on the inaugural team.

And now Vegas must take one player from each of the other 30 teams by 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

"When we set our roster, we're going to end up losing a player that we like and we don't want to lose, but that's just part of the whole expansion process", said Benning, who had trouble recalling the last expansion draft, it had been so long. Any pending free agent signed would count as Vegas' expansion-draft selection from that player's team.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is one marquee player's who's not expected to receive any added protection from his team. "You can negotiate your way out of this if you wish", McPhee said.

For the Ducks, Blue Jackets, and Islanders, the reported trades are about keeping key players. The Golden Knights could swipe Rangers forward Michael Grabner, who scored 27 goals this past season. Among the notable players left unprotected were Nate Schmidt, Philipp Grubauer, Jay Beagle, Brett Connolly, Tyler Graovac, Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney and all five unrestricted free agents, an impressive group that features T.J. Oshie, Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik.

Shortly after protected lists were released Sunday morning, GMs began calling McPhee to try to poach available players from other teams.

Names like Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be available to the Golden Knights, who will get to choose one player from each of the 30 National Hockey League teams to assemble their first roster.

Theres also a wealth of proven goaltenders available given that teams were required to expose at least one. Aside from Fleury, other goalies exposed are Florida's Roberto Luongo, Detroit's Peter Mrazek and Philadelphia's Michal Neuvirth.

The point is that the Golden Knights seem happy with the cards they've been dealt ... and that they're open for business. Marchessault is a free agent after this coming season.

His appeal: Nelson has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last three seasons - and a large bunch of them at even-strength.

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