Less than 14 hours after being taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Trevor van Riemsdyk is already on the move.
The Golden Knights have traded the 25-year-old defenseman to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he will reunite with former Blackhawks teammates Scott Darling, Joakim Nordstrom and Teuvo Teravainen. Carolina also receives a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2017 second-rounder.
“I think that’ll be making the transition easier," van Riemsdyk said during a conference call on Thursday. "I know Scotty, Teuvo and Nordy. I know Brett [Pesce] very well and Noah [Hanifin] I met in Germany. It’ll make the transition a little easier. I’m sure the rest of the guys are great guys. So I’m excited to come and experience it.”
Vegas general manager George McPhee made it known that he was going to draft "a lot" of defensemen Wednesday night, and he did just that with van Riemsdyk being one of 13 blue liners selected. Because of that, it makes players like van Riemsdyk expendable, giving McPhee the opportunity to collect assets by trading some of them and using the returns on other parts of the roster.
Van Riemsdyk joins an up-and-coming Hurricanes team that has a young, promising defensive corps featuring 25-year-old future All-Star Justin Faulk, the 20-year-old Hanifin, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2015, and 23-year-old Jaccob Slavin, who has emerged into of their best defensemen.
“Being in Chicago I was lucky enough to play with guys like [Duncan Keith], [Brent] Seabrook and [Niklas] Hjalmarsson, to learn from them and practice with them," van Riemsdyk said. "Carolina’s a younger group but really talented, a group of guys that’s played really well. They’re definitely guys you can learn a lot from, too. I know guys a little bit, so it’ll be exciting to get on the ice with them a little more and learn from them. It’s definitely a change, but it’ll be a fun group to be a part of.”
Van Riemsdyk has one year left on a deal that carries a $825,000 cap hit, and is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.