No more expansion mock drafts, the Vegas Golden Knights plucked their expansion player off the other 30 NHL teams yesterday and in combination with several trades (and more to come no doubt) teams depth charts make an adjustment.
Here is a quick reaction to some prospects that are poised to move up the depth chart as a result of yesterday’s expansion activity.
Boston Bruins – The Bruins lost defenseman Colin Miller but with the addition of Charlie McAvoy they still have six NHL defense under contract. This does help previously highly regarded prospect Joe Morrow as he should be the first player the Bruins look to when injury comes around. Another option could be rugged defender Rob O’Gara
Calgary Flames – The Flames lost defenceman Deryk Engelland, and with Dennis Wideman and Michael Stone hitting UFA market they have only four NHL defensemen under contract. Rookies Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington both have pro experience in the AHL and should compete for a roster spot.
Chicago Blackhawks – Losing Trevor van Riemsdyk who was a top four defenseman will hurt Chicago, but they have a collection of young D that have been pushing to crack the roster. Look for Gustav Forsling, Erik Gustafsson, and Ville Pokka to continue to compete with each other for regular NHL time. Also keep an eye on Free Agent signee Jan Rutta
Colorado Avalanche – Losing Calvin Pickard was a blow but the Avs should look to Spencer Martin as the backup now barring any other additions.
Florida Panthers – The Panthers lost two Left Wingers in Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. That opens up a few spots so they may add a free agent or make another rtrade. One free agent already acquired from Europe that may fill a spot is Henrik Haapala, the 23-year-old had 60 points in 51 games in Liiga last year. A rookie that may try to crack the team is Jayce Hawryluk
LA Kings – After losing Brayden McNabb the Kings will likely turn to rookie Paul Ladue to take the next step. He had a cup of coffee in the NHL last year and looked good. He has good fantasy upside.
Ottawa Senators – The Sens tried hard to hold onto Methot but couldn’t. That opens up a plumb job as Erik Karlsson’s defense partner. The Sens have options here, Phaneuf, Ceci for example but the long term benefactor could be super prospect Thomas Chabot, who just dominated junior hockey in the QMJHL and the World Junior.
San Jose Sharks – The loss of David Schlemko shouldn’t be too hard felt by the Sharks, especially if fast rising prospect Tim Heed can translate his recent AHL success to the NHL.
Vancouver Canucks – The Canucks earlier lost big Nikita Tryamkin to the KHL, and now lose Lucas Sbisa to Vegas. They still have six defense under contract but it moves big Andrey Pedan up the depth chart. Another name to watch is European free agent Philip Holm.