The Vegas Golden Knights Need to Make Some Room
The Vegas Golden Knights have a lot of money tied up in their roster which isn’t necessarily a bad thing until you’re over the cap. When you trade for star players like the Knights are known for, you usually are going to have to pay the consequences of it one way or another.
Since becoming the 31st official team of the National Hockey League, the Knights have become one of the most aggressive teams in the trade market. Once again, not necessarily a bad thing until you take on one to many big contracts. Then you have to find a way to clear cap which usually means trading someone away.
So, with that being said, who could we see leave the Vegas Golden Knights organization when the players start to get healthy?
Unfortunately, it’s never easy letting someone go. Anyone who’s experienced life knows that. Similarly, they also know that sometimes it has to be done. In this situation the person who seems most likely to get traded away is winger, Reilly Smith.
Reilly Smith is currently an alternate for the Vegas Golden Knights so you may be asking what makes him a trade candidate? Well, when Jack Eichel comes back, the Knights will need to clear roughly about $5,000,000 in cap space in order to make room for him. Smith is making $3,500,000 this season and $1,000,000 in through his signing bonus.
Although, that’s not $5,000,000, he does hold quite a bit of trade value around the league. The biggest thing to consider when making a trade is: Who can you get the most back for? Reilly Smith can check that box.
So if the Vegas Golden Knights do chose to move Smith in order to get under the cap, what value could they be looking to get in return?
Reilly Smith’s Trade Value
Reilly Smith’s trade value around the league is definitely going to depend on how all-in a team is. With that being said, they could look to get a nice return for Smith if a team is lacking some offense along the wing. I’ll get into who some of those teams are in a bit, but let’s talk about what type of trade the Knights could be looking for.
When it comes to clearing cap space, the person trading away the player generally doesn’t want to take on a contract because that defeats the purpose. So I’d say it’s way more likely that the Vegas Golden Knights will be looking to get a draft pick in return. Now, let’s get into exactly how much trade value he holds in the market.
It should be a consensus around the league that if you were to acquire Smith, you’d be getting a top six forward. So far this season he’s played in 19 games for the Vegas Golden Knights. In those 19 games, he has eight goals and six assists for a total of 14 points. When it comes to Smith, this is probably one of the best starts to his season he’s had in some time.
Last season for example, in 53 games, he had 14 goals and 11 assists for a total of 25 points. This season, he already has 14 points. 11 less than he did in the entirety of last season. Not to mention, if you’re in win now mode, he should be a top option.
Possible Landing Spots for Reilly Smith
As I stated above the Vegas Golden Knights are going to be looking to possibly trade him and in return get a second-round pick in the draft. So looking at who would be willing to take a chance on him, there are a couple teams.
First team that will probably call about the availability to Reilly Smith: the Detroit Red Wings. The Detroit Red Wings have a very good team but do have tendencies to “crap the bed”. Now, I know that the Vegas Golden Knights did lose to the Detroit Red Wings once, but they are lacking consistency. Reilly Smith could be someone that the Red Wings would consider a top target for sure.
The Second team that could/should call about Reilly Smith is the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have one of the better teams in the league, which I’m not going to lie, it surprises me. However, wins are wins and right now, they are finding ways to win. But, looking down the road, they could definitely benefit from having more talent on the offensive side of the puck. When it comes to playoff time and competing for a spot, having a guy like Reilly Smith would definitely give them a boost.
The third and final team that I feel should give the Vegas Golden Knights a call is the New York Rangers. The New York Rangers are an incredible team with a lot of talent, but if you take a look at their roster and how they’ve performed this far, they’ve underachieved. They went out and made moves this off-season in order to help give them an edge, but they are still underperforming. They need to add someone to help their wing depth and add another veteran.
The Vegas Golden Knights traded for winger, Evgenii Dadonov, this off-season from the Ottawa Senators as they looked to help increase their wing depth. Going into the off-season, based upon their moves they made, they were looking to help establish upside. So with that, the Knights brought in both Nolan Patrick, and also Evgenii Dadonov.
Now, so far this season, that has appeared to be the right move. however, there is quite the conundrum coming. The Vegas Golden Knights, as they look to determine their next steps as a team and an organization, have to determine how to clear some cap space so they can activate some of the players that are currently on the injured reserve.
So now the question you may be asking is what makes Dadonov a trade option for the Vegas Golden Knights? We’ll there are a couple things.
First, his contract is worth $5,000,000 this season and next season is supposed to make $6,500,000. Making that contract work while managing some of these contracts will be too hard to make happen. So although his trade value isn’t as high as Reilly Smith, his contract is too much for the Vegas Golden Knights to keep.
Second, he hasn’t quite lived up to the $5,000,000 he is currently making. But in contrast to that statement, he’s been starting to get on a hot streak which could benefit the Knights. If they trade him while he is hot, they will be able to get more in return for him than if he starts to cool off again.
Evgenii Dadonov’s Trade Value
So after talking about everything that I just stated the question that need’s to be asked is: Where does his trade value stand?
That question is even more difficult to answer because you don’t exactly know what teams around the league think of him as a player. He started this season very cold before starting to get in a rhythm over the course of the last couple weeks. However, he’s started to cool off again and with that his value is down.
When they trade Dadonov his value is likely going to be a late-round draft pick. He just hasn’t done much this season and therefore the Vegas Golden Knights are not going to be able to get much in return for him. It’s that reason why Reilly Smith is probably the top trade candidate.
So now with that being said, let’s take a look at the next step for the Vegas Golden Knights.