Vegas Golden Knights: Setting the scene for Day One of the 2020 Draft

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) guards his net. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) guards his net. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s get you set for what could happen to the Vegas Golden Knights on Day One of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Round One of the Draft will take place later today (4:00 p.m. PT) and the Vegas Golden Knights will have the chance to add a high-end stud.

In what is a loaded draft deep with talent, the Golden Knights will be able to add an elite prospect with the No.29 overall pick.

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Who they select at the end of the First Round is another question, and we’ll be taking a look at that in depth later on today.

But, for now, let’s try and set the scene for what could happen to the Golden Knights on Day One of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft…

Stick to the plan

In terms of the Draft itself, it should be quiet for the Golden Knights until they go on the clock with the No. 29 overall pick.

It has been well documented that the 2020 Draft is loaded and deep with talent, so there is no doubt that the Golden Knights will be getting a very, very good prospect with their late First Round pick.

Vegas General Manager Kelly McCrimmon has already confirmed that the organization will be ignoring need, instead opting to draft the best player available.

You should do that anyway but it is especially important this year given how deep the Draft is, especially in the First Round.

Once the Golden Knights pick possibly their next star of the future, it will then be on to Rounds two through seven on Wednesday.

Which brings us on to…

Draft Capital

It is common for contending teams to part with draft picks in order to acquire pieces to help them to win now.

The Golden Knights are no different and that will be reflected in the fact that they will have no picks in the Second Round, the Fourth Round and the Fifth Round this year.

That leaves the franchise with just five picks in total over the next two days, so could the front office look to address that?

In what is a loaded Draft, there will be a lot of talent left on the board even in the latter rounds, so there could be a handful of hidden gems for the taking.

Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon could look to flip a role player or maybe even trade the rights to a pending free agent in order to acquire more Draft capital and give Vegas more than five picks to play with.

They could even decide to package together a couple of their late round picks in order to move up in the Draft if they have a particular player they have their heart set on.

Don’t be surprised, however, if the Golden Knights stand pat on the trade front when it comes to acquiring more picks until Day Two.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27)
St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) skates during a NHL workout. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Big-Game Hunting

Could the Golden Knights throw Day One of the Draft into chaos by pulling the trigger on a blockbuster trade?

It is no secret that St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has intricately been linked with the Golden Knights, and those rumours will only continue to gather pace with it looking increasingly likely that the stud defenseman will hit the open market on Friday.

So, could Vegas stun us all by sending a bumper package over to the Blues in order to jump to the front of the queue for Pietrangelo?

As outlined by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic here, Pietrangelo could sign an eight-year deal with the Blues who would then trade him as part of a sign-and-trade.

Given that it is believed the defenseman would favor a move to either Vegas or the Toronto Maple Leafs, you would think that Pietrangelo would be willing to take part in a sign-and-trade.

It would be a no-brainer for the Golden Knights too, given that an eight-year deal makes it easier when it comes to lessening the cap hit. Eight years will allow the Knights to bring down the AAV of the deal, which would be a massive help given their cap constraints.

However, it would mean that the Knights would have to give up some assets to the Blues in order to pull off a sign-and-trade, or they could just wait until Friday when Free Agency Opens.

Of course, once Pietrangelo hits the open market no team can offer more than a seven-year deal, so it isn’t out of the realms of possibility that the Vegas Golden Knights attempt to get something done with Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues over the next couple of days.

This is the silly season we’re now in, after all.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29)
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the warmup period. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Fleury on the move?

Could we see the departure of the face of the franchise by the close of play on Wednesday?

It is possible.

We’ve already delved deeply into the situation regarding Marc-Andre Fleury so we won’t go over it again, but all signs point to the future Hall of Famer being on a different roster by the start of the 2020-21 season.

And, given that the Golden Knights are already over the salary cap and may want to make a big splash in free agency, it wouldn’t be surprising if they tried to find a trade partner for Fleury over the next two days.

We see big trades happen during the Draft all the time and, with General Managers in constant contact all the time right now, something could go down sooner rather than later when it comes to Fleury.

Goalies are going to dominate the off-season this year and it may be in the best interests of the Golden Knights to move Marc-Andre Fleury as quick as they can if that’s the route they want to go down.

Other Notes

This week is going to be chaotic to say the least.

We’re bound to see some significant trades during the Draft, and then Free Agency opens on Friday.

Before that, however, RFA’s need to be qualified by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday and the Buyout window will then close on Thursday.

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So, overall, this is going to be a busy week for the Vegas Golden Knights and we could see some big moves today.