While the Columbus Blue Jackets were able to shutout the Montreal Canadiens last night 3-0 in a mostly lifeless effort by the Habs, there was one guy who showed up in a big way for Montreal. Goaltender Carey Price did his part to try and keep his team in the game, highlighted by this series of acrobatic saves.
The Vegas Golden Knights used the expansion draft this past week to stockpile draft picks in exchange for not selecting certain players. General manager George McPhee’s haul helped the team collect 12 draft picks for this year, including three of the top-15 picks in the first-round (No. 6 overall, No. 13 overall and No. 15 overall).
McPhee ended up keeping all three of his first-round picks and followed through on his commitment of drafting their way to success.
With those picks the Golden Knights selected a pair of centers, Cody Glass from the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks at No. 6, and Nick Suzuki from the Owen Sound Attack at No. 13.
From there, they began to build up their blue line by taking Swedish blue-liner Erik Brannstrom with the 15th overall pick.
With that collection of assets it was reasonable to imagine that McPhee might try to package some of them together to move up from their own pick at No. 6 overall, perhaps even to make a run at Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick with one of the top-two picks.
McPhee made it sound like Glass was one of their primary targets and even suggested they had a deal in place (involving one of their second-round picks) to make a move for him if needed.
He did not need to.
In the end, keeping all three first-round picks is probably the best-case scenario for Vegas when it comes to building an organization from the ground up. Luck was not on their side in the draft lottery and they didn’t get an opportunity to get one of the elite prospects, and as tempting as it might have been to make a bold move up for one this is a team that is literally starting from scratch. It needs talent all over the ice and a lot of times the best way to find success in the draft is by giving yourself as many opportunities as possible.
McPhee certainly did that for Vegas in their first ever draft.
CHICAGO — The first thing you notice about Michael Rasmussen is his size.
This is a big kid the Detroit Red Wings just drafted out of the Western Hockey League.
Rasmussen stands 6-foot-6 and weighs around 215 pounds. The 18-year-old center scored 32 goals in 50 games for the Tri-City Americans last season.
“I’ve got a big wing span, so I protect the puck well,” he said after going ninth overall Friday at United Center. “When I have the puck, I pride myself on not getting it taken from me.”
For the Red Wings, this is a big pick in another way. Amazingly, Rasmussen is the first top-10 selection the organization has made since 1991, when Martin Lapointe was drafted 10th overall.
In other words, GM Ken Holland better be right about this kid.
Read more: A very different draft for Detroit
To realize his potential in the NHL, Rasmussen knows he’ll need to get faster on the ice.
“Obviously, being a big guy it’s tough to get a bigger frame around,” he said. “It’s something I’ll work hard on this summer with my speed coach. It’s something I need to improve for sure.”
A Vancouver native, Rasmussen was naturally a Canucks fan growing up. He particularly admired the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel.
“They were always in the community and giving back,” he said. “That’s something I admire, even more than their play. They’re amazing leaders and amazing people. They’ve done a lot for the city of Vancouver.”
Now Rasmussen hopes to do a lot for his future home and team.
“I think it was one of my hopes that I could go to Detroit,” he said. “My combine meeting went really well. It was in my mind that this was a place that I really wanted to go to. It’s a dream come true definitely.”
From the United Center in Chicago, it’s the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft!
Click back here throughout the night for all the latest picks, complete with draft profiles, stories and video from tonight’s broadcast on NBCSN.
3. Dallas Stars: Miro Heiskanen, defenseman, HIFK Finland (profile)
5. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson, center, SHL Timra IK
6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, center, WHL Portland
7. New York Rangers (from Arizona): Lias Andersson, center, SHL HV71
8. Buffalo Sabres: Casey Mittelstadt, center, Eden Prairie HS (profile)
9. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Rasmussen, center, WHL Tri-City
10. Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett, RW, OHL Mississauga (profile)
11. Los Angeles Kings: Gabriel Vilardi, C, OHL Windsor (profile)
12. Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas, center, Czech League Brno
13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg): Nick Suzuki, center, OHL Owen Sound
14. Tampa Bay Lightning: Cal Foote, defenseman, WHL Kelowna
15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders): Erik Brannstrom, defenseman, SHL SV71
16. Calgary Flames: Juuso Valimaki, defenseman, WHL Tri-City
17. Toronto Maple Leafs: Timothy Liljegren, defenseman, SHL Rogle
18. Boston Bruins: Urho Vaakanainen, defenseman SM-liiga JYP
19. San Jose Sharks: Josh Norris, center, USA U-18 NTDP
20. St. Louis Blues: Robert Thomas, center, OHL London
21. New York Rangers: Filip Chytil, center, Czech League Zlin
22. Edmonton Oilers: Kailer Yamamoto, right wing, WHL Spokane
23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota): Pierre-Olivier Joseph, defenseman, QMJHL Charlottetown
24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas): Kristian Vesalainen, right wing, SHL Frolunda
25. Montreal Canadiens: Ryan Poehling, center, St. Cloud State
26. Dallas Stars (from Chicago): Jake Oettinger, goalie, Boston University
Cody Glass became part of history on Friday night.
Glass, the No. 6 ranked North American skater from WHL Portland, became the first-ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, who took him sixth overall at the United Center in Chicago.
A 6-foot-2 center that was named the Winterhawks’ MVP this season, Glass has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. He put up a stunning 94 points in 64 games this season, and is regarded as one of the finest offensive talents in the Western League.
While Glass is the first-ever pick for the Knights, he’ll soon have some company. GM George McPhee stockpiled a pair of additional first-round picks at Wednesday’s expansion draft — No. 13 and 15 respectively — meaning Vegas could walk away from tonight with a boatload of young, enticing prospects.