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.
- Teemu Pulkkinen (selected from Arizona Coyotes)
- William Carrier (Buffalo Sabres)
- Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars)
- Tomas Nosek (Detroit Red Wings)
- Jonathan Marchessault (Florida Panthers)
- Reilly Smith (via trade with Florida Panthers)
- Connor Brickley (Carolina Hurricanes)
- Chris Thorburn (Winnipeg Jets)
- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Philadelphia Flyers)
- Nikita Gusev (via trade with Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Mikhail Grabovski (via trade with New York Islanders)
- James Neal (Nashville Predators)
- Brendan Leipsic (Toronto Maple Leafs)
- David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
- Oscar Lindberg (New York Rangers)
- Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild)
- Alex Tuch (via trade with Minnesota Wild)
- William Karlsson (Columbus Blue Jackets)
- David Clarkson (via trade with Columbus Blue Jackets)
- Luca Sbisa (Vancouver Canucks)
- Jon Merrill (New Jersey Devils)
- Brayden McNabb (Los Angeles Kings)
- Jason Garrison (Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Jake Bischoff (via trade with New York Islanders)
- Deryk Engelland (Calgary Flames)
- Colin Miller (Boston Bruins)
- Marc Methot (Ottawa Senators)
- David Schlemko (San Jose Sharks)
- Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oilers)
- Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
- Clayton Stoner (Anaheim Ducks)
- Shea Theodore (via trade with Anaheim Ducks)
- Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago Blackhawks)
- Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals)
- 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.