The NHL expansion draft is rapidly approaching and the excitement is building, so we will review the possible 2018 NHL Season Player Changes. As the Vegas Golden Knights get ready to select their first roster of players, the rest of the league is abuzz with who will get picked in the draft, but also who will get moved ahead of it!
2018 NHL Season Player Changes
Each team will lose one player and they can only protect a certain number of players. So what you’re seeing now is a mad scramble to trade assets that could get drafted by Vegas. Either that or make a deal with the Golden Knights themselves so as not to lose a desirable player. The whole process is intriguing.
So who are the names that could be moved?
The mobile Anaheim Ducks defenseman could be on the way out of Orange County due to the team’s overwhelming depth at the position. Vatanen is on the smaller side and so rather than lose him in the draft the Ducks could ship him out to a defense-starved team. With a good shot and great skating ability, don’t be surprised to see Vatanen move to a mediocre or bad team looking to upgrade.
When you have a championship pedigree and play center you have some market value. But the Chicago Blackhawks are a team perennially struggling to stay under the salary cap. They’d love to ship Kruger’s over 3 million dollar salary out of town. Rumor has it that the Golden Knights, with a ton of cap room, are interested in the steady third-line center.
It’s the offseason of youngish defensemen, as Brodin of the Minnesota Wild could be on the way out of town. Vegas would love to draft him if he isn’t traded before the expansion draft. But we see him being moved beforehand. The Bruins are the big team being talked about right now.
Okay, this one has nothing to do with the expansion draft. This young Montreal Canadiens player has underachieved in the eyes of some and the team can’t decide if he’s a center or winger. With Galchenyuk due a new contract this summer, if Montreal was ever going to trade him it would be now.
Not on the move – Dion Phaneuf
One player who won’t be moved ahead of the expansion draft is Dion Phaneuf of the Ottawa Senators. The team asked him to waive his no-trade clause and he declined, preferring to stay in the city that has rejuvenated his career. This means that the Sens will either have to risk exposing him in the draft and losing him for nothing, or they’ll have to expose another blue liner in his place and lose that asset.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.