NHL Expansion Draft 2017 Results: Updated Roster for Vegas Golden Knights

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 22:  The team logo for the Vegas Golden Knights is displayed on T-Mobile Arena's video mesh wall after being announced as the name for the Las Vegas NHL franchise at T-Mobile Arena on November 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team will begin play in the 2017-18 season.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights unveiled their 2017 NHL Expansion Draft selections at the NHL Awards on Wednesday as they prepare to embark on their inaugural season in the fall. 

The roster is headlined by former Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, veteran winger David Perron and forward James Neal, who suited up for the Nashville Predators the past three seasons. 

Here's an overview of the entire roster, which is comprised of one player from each club's unprotected expansion list. Players who were acquired via trade, as announced on the team's official Twitter account, are also listed below. 

Forwards

Defensemen

Goaltenders

  • Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)
  • Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
  • Jean-Francois Berube (New York Islanders)  

Fleury will draw the most attention after he was plucked from the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and for good reason. 

Although he played second fiddle to Matt Murray last season, Fleury has remained an effective presence in net when deployed as a starter. 

Before his 2015-16 season was ultimately derailed by injuries, Fleury went 35-17-6 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.29 goals-against average. Those numbers took a hit when he was relegated to backup duty this past year (.909 save percentage, 3.02 GAA), but there's reason to believe he can still operate as one of the game's steadier goaltenders when afforded a chance to hold down the fort. 

In the goal-scoring department, Perron—who is entering the final year of his contract—has the ability to provide some stability as the Golden Knights search for an identity during their first year on the ice. 

Appearing in all 82 games last season, Perron tallied 18 goals and 28 assists to finish with 46 points—the fifth-most on a Blues team that was loaded with playmakers. 

Speaking of sources of offense, Neal could factor into the picture as one of Vegas' early goal-scoring staples. 

Of course, that's if he's still with the team come opening day. 

On an expiring contract that will pay $5 million next season, Neal has the makings of a prime trade candidate who could fetch the Golden Knights some solid young assets—whether they're future draft picks or players. 

But if he does suit up for the Golden Knights, Neal projects as a short-term centerpiece. 

Last season, the 29-year-old racked up 23 goals and 18 assists. He was also good for six goals and three helpers as the Predators made a run to the Stanley Cup Final. 

With a veteran foundation now in place, the Golden Knights will set their sights on tweaking their roster through free agency and this weekend's amateur draft in advance of their highly anticipated debut. 

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