The NHL’s newest expansion team will take to the ice this October, bringing hockey to the middle of the Nevada desert under the glittering neon lights of Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights now have actual players following Wednesday’s expansion draft and the ongoing NHL amateur draft.
Viva Las Vegas✌️ pic.twitter.com/xTffvHBmV8
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 22, 2017
The team should benefit immensely from the league’s desire to not bury expansion teams in the standings which was standard operating procedure until recently.
The Knights biggest acquisition is former Stanley Cup winning goalie Marc Andre-Fleury who played a huge role in the Pittsburgh Penguins title run this year.
Fleury came through in several clutch situations for the Pens but due to the presence of youngster Matt Murray – who has two Stanley Cup rings now – he became expendable. Under the rules, teams were only allowed to protect one goaltender and in Fleury, Las Vegas already has an advantage over many established teams.
Offensively, the Golden Knights snapped up some talent led by 30 goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault from the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators winger James Neal, who reliably scores 20 goals.
With their first pick in the amateur draft, the Knights tabbed hulking defenseman Nicolas Hague.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 24, 2017
The puck will drop for real in October when after two early road contests against Dallas and Arizona, the Golden Knights will have a seven game homestand at T-Mobile Arena in front of what should be a hugely enthusiastic crowd happy to have pro hockey in Las Vegas.
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