NHL Expansion Draft: Washington Capitals lose Philipp Grubauer

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Dec 17, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general view of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the Las Vegas strip on Las Vegas Blvd. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In Stars and Sticks’ first NHL expansion mock draft, the Washington Capitals will be losing a valuable young player. 

The NHL hasn’t had an expansion draft in a little over 15 years. This summer, the Vegas Golden Knights will be joining the league as an expansion team. With a new team comes a new and improved version of the expansion draft. Every team, including the Washington Capitals, are going to lose someone. Some teams will lose better players than others.

It’s hard to predict precisely what the Golden Knights will do. Are they going to work to be competitive early? Do they outright tank? How is Vegas going to build their roster? The Golden Knights have a ton of options. For McPhee, this is a general manager’s dream. Usually, when you join a front office, you have to deal with the previous administration’s faults and bad contracts. McPhee is starting with as clean of a slate as possible.

The rules for the expansion draft can be found here. Vegas must select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. Teams must expose a goalie, but can choose to expose either 10 skaters (seven forwards and three defensemen) or eight skaters (four forwards and four defensemen). Also, teams must expose a certain number of players who fit the games played requirement of 40 games in the 2016-17 season or 70 over the past two. Vegas must draft at least 20 players who have a contract for the 2017-18 season (RFAs don’t have a deal for the 2017-18 season).

This team will be built more for the future, but also with the present in mind. The Golden Knights have to build a strong foundation while also creating enough buzz in a new hockey market to get butts in seats. At the end of the day, that’s going to be very vital for them. Let’s start off with the Metropolitan Division.

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