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Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

George McPhee has long said he plans to build the Vegas Golden Knights roster through the NHL Draft. Vegas submitted their list of with four minutes to spare before Wednesday's 10 a.m. ET deadline. The fact the Golden Knights also got a second-round pick (albeit in 2020) from the Penguins is just icing on the cake.

McPhee's predecessor and successor with the Capitals: While it was a good night for McPhee, who previously held the same post in Washington, the expansion draft wasn't so kind to the man McPhee replaced with the Capitals (David Poile) and the one who stepped in after McPhee was sacked in 2014 (Brian MacLellan).

Hischier fits in nicely with general manager Ray Shero's desire to put a faster team on the ice.

Indeed, this isn't your usual expansion team roster.

The Golden Knights aren't ready to make any predictions yet, but once they get together in Vegas for the first time under coach Gerard Gallant, they'll start to figure out just how good they can be. They now have three draft picks in the top 15 overall this year, a pair of top prospects in Alex Tuch and Shea Theodore, and a roster that may not scream contender, but signals this team might not be a total mess out of the gate.

If not, there will be plenty of talent available at six - particularly at center. Vegas is taking risks here, but that's what they need to do. Given that the Golden Knights are an expansion team and a bit lean on established stars or firepower - with the exception of perhaps Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal and Cody Eakin - the expectation is that the team will probably struggle for a few seasons.

"I'll give it everything I've got to win some games", Fleury said. "I can't guarantee what will get done, but it gives us cap space to do that". He was one of the only unrestricted free agents the Golden Knights signed during their exclusive negotiating window leading up to the expansion draft. "They're going to be pleasantly surprised".

The Golden Knights will likely struggle in year 1. As a result, these are not "a bunch of misfits nobody wanted", as then-winger Jody Shelley once described the 1992-93 Senators. Grabovski, also 33, has one year and $5 million remaining on his contract and has not played since 2015-16 because of a concussion.

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All of the Golden Knights' selections were announced during the National Hockey League awards show. "I played with some great guys".

"I'm looking forward to being part of this team and it's great to be part of a big (draft class) like this", Suzuki said.

Still, Bellemare is the kind of player that's typically not that hard to replace, so it's a little surprising Vegas went with him.

The existing Golden Knights' blue line isn't bad: Brayden McNabb from Los Angeles, Colin Miller from Boston, Jon Merrill from New Jersey and Griffin Reinhart from Edmonton. But the team won't be all defence.

Marchessault seemingly came out of nowhere last season to lead the Panthers scoring attack.

General manager George McPhee turned his 30 picks into an impressive haul that includes a 30-goal scorer (Jonathan Marchessault), a former 40-goal scorer (James Neal), a top-pairing physical defenseman in Marc Methot, a three-time Stanley Cup winning goalie (Marc-Andre Fleury), plus two extra first-round picks in Friday's National Hockey League and multiple picks over the next three drafts. Perron had 18 goals in a depth role with the St. Louis Blues.

"I thought it went really well", said McPhee after the first round.

What's odd to me is how many people who should and maybe do know better are blowing smoke up your ass and saying this team might be good now.

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