NHL Draft is big night for the Golden Knights

From Tampa Bay, Vegas picked up defenseman Jason Garrison, who had nine power-play goals last season, along with forward Nikita Gusev, a 2017 second-round pick and a 2018 fourth-pick for expansion draft considerations.

Vegas Golden Knights: The team had to pay $500 million to join the league, so Vegas was always meant to be the biggest victor in this expansion draft.

"We knew we were going to lose something, so we felt let's do what we can to control what we give up", Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told TampaBayLightning.com.

Also going to the Knights on Wednesday was Grand Rapids native Jake Bischoff.

In addition, the National Hockey League allowed teams to make side deals with Vegas so as to allow them to acquire assets in exchange for not selecting certain players.

Fleury was then welcomed on stage wearing his new sweater and waving to a crowd that, apparently to his surprise, responded with the warmest ovation of the evening. Players with less than two years of pro experience were exempt, and the Knights were required to take one player from each team.

The new Las Vegas squad filled out its roster by selecting one player from each of the other 30 National Hockey League teams.

Here's a fun party game: How many of these players will be with this franchise the first time it makes the playoffs?

In constructing protection rules for this expansion draft, the National Hockey League hoped Vegas might boast a relatively formidable initial roster.

Glass was one of three picks the Golden Knights had in the first round on Friday during Round 1 of the draft.

Not by a long shot.

Goalie Calvin Pickard was the first selection in the expansion draft.

Here's the thing that maybe wasn't clear from the beginning: Not only were the Vegas Golden Knights getting to poach one player off every roster, they were also getting compensation (mostly draft picks) from the other 30 clubs in order to direct who they chose.

"It looks good", Fleury said of the initial roster. It was announced by Bill Foley, the Vegas team's owner, after which it became public that the Penguins also sent a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft to complete the transation.

"I'm not looking to be the face of much", said Marc-Andre Fleury, staring down a hornet's nest of excited reporters.

Can they be the best expansion team ever?

ROLLING THE DICE: Vegas can build a young nucleus with some intriguing possibilities, assuming Columbus has persuaded McPhee not to take 17-goal scorer Josh Anderson and the New York Islanders have worked out a way to keep 56-point producer Josh Bailey.

Vegas got defensive for the third round of announcements, selecting five defensemen among the group of eight announced players.

The existing Golden Knights' blue line isn't bad: Brayden McNabb from Los Angeles, Colin Miller from Boston, Jon Merrill from New Jersey and Griffin Reinhart from Edmonton.

Instead, Vegas went with Nosek, an undrafted 24-year-old who spent the past three seasons in the AHL. It remains to be seen what happens with Washington's Nate Schmidt, Ottawa's Marc Methot, Chicago's Trevor van Riemsdyk and San Jose's David Schlemko, any of whom could be traded as soon as Thursday.

"They were at the top of our list", McPhee said.

The picks were announced in four separate segments, during which trades between the Golden Knights and other teams were announced as well. Taking on Smith's contract was likely an incentive for the Panthers to leave Marchessault, who scored 30 goals last season, unprotected.

The Golden Knights aren't ready to make any predictions yet, but once they get together in Vegas for the first time under coach Gerard Gallant, they'll start to figure out just how good they can be. "We thought he was a first-round pick".

Numerous trades between teams are expected to be announced after a trade/waiver freeze expires this morning.