Golden Knights went big, yet didn’t sell the farm
The Vegas Golden Knights got their man on NHL Trade Deadline day on Monday, and they appear poised to keep imposing their will on the rest of the NHL when it comes to acquiring the best available talent at this time of year.
And that’s because general manager George McPhee and Co. have an endless supply of trade chips over the next a couple of years.
Despite giving up highly-touted defensive prospect Erik Brannstrom and a second-round pick as part of the package to acquire Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators, the Golden Knights still have 17 selections over 2019 and 2020 NHL drafts (including both of their first-round picks and a total of nine inside the first three rounds) to restock and reload as they forge ahead.
It’s an incredible number for a team as good and as talented as the Golden Knights are, even despite their recent struggles on the ice.
McPhee’s sorcery when it comes to stockpiling picks and prospects has been unmatched. And while other teams tried, the sheer number of options Vegas had for the Senators to chose from made them the best suitors for Stone’s services.
It’s a seller’s version of a kid in a candy store and there’s no shortage of excellent selection.
While the loss of Brannstrom could sting down the road, the pain will be mitigated over the next two years as the stables are restocked.
[Winners and losers of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline]
Furthermore, the Golden Knights get one of the best two-way players in the NHL in his place with Stone, and then they locked him up for eight years for good measure. Brannstrom still has to pan out over the next several years for the Golden Knights to even feel any ill-effects. In the meantime, Stone will be producing at his point-per-game pace on what should be a perennial Stanley Cup contender.
No team has the kind of asset luxury quite like Vegas, and that’s important with other Western Conference rivals making significant splashes.
The San Jose Sharks beat Vegas for Erik Karlsson’s signature in the summer and strengthened further through the acquisition of Gustav Nyquist late on Sunday. The Winnipeg Jets added dynamic center Kevin Hayes to improve their spine on Monday. And the Nashville Predators added two big names in Mikael Granlund and Wayne Simmonds.
The good news for Vegas is they’ll be keeping their splash well past his season thanks to Stone’s new deal, and won’t have any problem going after next year’s big name, either, if they so chose.