The Golden Knights begin their inaugural season tomorrow night and the club is still out of sync. Capfriendly has the team’s alignment as 11 forwards, nine defenders and two goalies. I imagine Brandon Pirri will be forward No. 12, but the nine defenders need to be culled.
Edmonton is playing Eric Gryba as No. 6 and I’m not sure Yohann Auvitu has earned the trust of the coaching staff based on performance. Is there an opportunity to make a deal?
- Bob McKenzie: No guarantee it’s imminent by any means, but keep an eye on VGK as expansion team is in trade mode. May move a goalie (Pickard?) and a D. VGK expected to hold onto vet D Engelland, Garrison, Sbisa and won’t part with kids Theodore, Schmidt and C Miller but any other D possible. Source
That leaves Clayton Stoner (who is on IR), Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill, Griffin Reinhart and Brad Hunt. Hmmm. I don’t know that there’s a lot there for Edmonton, but let’s have a last at the entire group to identify attractive options.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS BLUE (alpha)
- LD Brayden McNabb. $1.7 MILLION, UFA summer 2018. Missed a bunch of time last season with the Kings due to an arm injury. McNabb would be a fine addition (his possession numbers are excellent) and he has had success in the NHL (he is 26).
- LD Jon Merrill. $1.1375 MILLION, RFA SUMMER 2018. He’s a big defender with some two-way ability. Fancy stats don’t boast much but do suggest he could play successfully on a depth pair.
- RD Colin Miller. $1.0 MILLION, RFA summer 2018. He’s pretty close to ideal, young enough to grow with the group and experienced enough to be a plug and play option. Good two-way player, Puck IQ had him playing 45 percent of his season against mid-level competition and delivering good results. The Oilers have some extra forwards hanging around, Miller is under control moving forward. Would you trade Jujhar Khaira for him?
- LD Griffin Reinhart. $800,000, RFA summer 2019. Reinhart has draft pedigree and the organization valued him before the expansion draft. No reason to think they value him less now.
- LD Nate Schmidt. $2.25 MILLION, UFA summer 2019. This is a very interesting player, under contract and with successful possession numbers a year ago. He played mostly mid-level opposition (source: Puck IQ) and sawed off the competition. He is a good puck mover and can play either side according to The Hockey News.
Who would you choose?