Eric Staal

Flyers make Nolan Patrick second pick of 2017 NHL Draft

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The Philadelphia Flyers selected Nolan Patrick with the second pick of the 2017 NHL Draft after Nico Hischier went first.

Injuries plagued Patrick’s 2016-17 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, as he was limited to 46 points in 33 games. His stock was higher after 2015-16, when he generated 102 points in 72 contests.

The general argument between “Nico vs. Nolan” has been that Patrick is the all-around player while Hischier was viewed as more “dynamic.”

The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy joined those who tempered expectations for Patrick (while also praising his abilities) in this draft profile for PHT.

“Patrick is not on the same level as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, but he does have the pedigree to be a pretty good NHLer – think Aaron Ekblad’s impact, but playing an Eric Staal kind of game.”

Flyers GM Ron Hextall admitted he wasn’t sure which pick would be available at second overall.

Nolan reflects on joining the Flyers in the video below.

Report: Wild’s Haula agrees to sign with Vegas

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It appears the Minnesota Wild have lost forward Erik Haula to the Vegas Golden Knights, according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Wild had exposed Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, but apparently had been in talks with Vegas general manager George McPhee to make a deal. It was reported later yesterday that Haula could sign with the Golden Knights, which would mean Minnesota keeps Staal, Dumba and Scandella.

It’s still costly for Minnesota, which reportedly also loses 2014 first-round pick and prospect winger Alex Tuch.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Haula, who would have become a restricted free agent July 1, agreed to a multi-year deal with the Golden Knights during their exclusive free-agency window that ended at 7 a.m. Pacific time this morning. That was also the deadline for Vegas to submit its initial 30-player roster to the NHL and sign and submit unprotected free agents.

In exchange for the Golden Knights choosing Haula in expansion and steering clear of, among others, defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella and center Eric Staal, the Wild has agreed to trade prospect Alex Tuch and a conditional future draft pick to Vegas, sources say.

Haula turned 26 years old in March. He played in 72 regular season games for Minnesota this past season, scoring 15 goals — a new single-season career high — and 26 points. He was in the final year of a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $1 million.

He was a pending restricted free agent.

The deadline for Vegas to submit its expansion draft selections was today, 10 a.m. ET.

Welcome Shea Theodore to the trade rumor mill

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Today is the day.

The deadline for the Vegas Golden Knights to submit their expansion draft selections has passed, and now we await for the roster to get revealed, as well as the supposedly many side deals George McPhee had with other clubs around the NHL.

Yesterday, McPhee said he had “at least” six trades completed. The Anaheim Ducks were among the clubs believed to have made a deal with Vegas.

On Wednesday morning, prior to the expansion draft selection deadline, TSN’s Bob McKenzie dropped this little tidbit involving Shea Theodore:

Nothing has been confirmed or announced yet, and McKenzie added this qualifier.

If this indeed is the case, that would be quite a pick-up for the Golden Knights. The Ducks selected Theodore in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s been up and down between the Ducks and their minor league affiliate over the past two years but is only 21 years old and has shown plenty of potential as a young defenseman.

He’s also entering the final year of his entry-level contract.

This seems to be the price some general managers have to pay in order to keep certain other unprotected players on their roster. The Minnesota Wild were among the teams that exposed three good players — Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella — and may have to get a deal done in order to avoid losing one of those players.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, are in a position to stockpile a number of additional draft picks to help increase the growth of their young talent pool going forward.

Could the Wild still make a deal with Vegas? (Updated)

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George McPhee said Tuesday that he has at least six trades completed ahead of tomorrow’s expansion draft. Could the Minnesota Wild perhaps be among the potential trading partners?

General manager Chuck Fletcher and the Wild left Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella unprotected — a tantalizing trio of players to chose from, although Vegas would only be able to select one. That’s still a difficult spot to be in for the Wild, which didn’t make a move before the trade/waiver freeze went into effect.

And now, there is this:

Here’s an update from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Things were still fluid Tuesday night, but there’s a chance pending restricted free agent Erik Haula signs with the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

If that occurs, the Wild won’t lose defensemen Matt Dumba or Marco Scandella, center Eric Staal or any of its other unprotected players when the expansion team announces its initial roster later in the night.

That certainly seems to be the cost of doing business with Vegas, as other general managers try to persuade McPhee from taking certain players that have been left unprotected.

Interesting times.

Related:

Lightning have side deal in place with Vegas

Vegas could make ‘throwaway picks’ in expansion draft

After developing players, ‘it’s a bit frustrating’ to possibly lose one in expansion draft

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) There were many years in Minnesota Wild history when assembling a list of their top 10 players would have been a breeze.

That was the biggest challenge this offseason.

The downside to the roster depth the Wild have built has arrived this week in the form of the NHL expansion draft, which will rob them of a valuable player on Wednesday night when the Vegas Golden Knights construct their inaugural team with one player from each of the other 30 clubs.

With defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella at the front of the queue, the Wild stand to lose as much as any team.

“They paid a large expansion fee, and the rules are set up that they’re going to get some tremendous assets out of this process, as they should,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. He added: “It’s actually, I think, a compliment to our organization that we have so many tough decisions.”

Read more:

Wild could lose Dumba, Scandella or Staal in expansion draft

Wild didn’t make a move prior to trade freeze deadline

Fletcher and his top lieutenant, Brent Flahr, quickly realized last summer their vulnerability once the NHL revealed the expansion draft guidelines.

“We did the math very quickly, and we were like, `We’re going to lose a good player,”‘ Fletcher said last week, before the lists were submitted to the league .

The Wild chose the seven forwards (Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Jason Zucker), three defensemen (Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter) and one goalie (Devan Dubnyk) option, rather than the eight skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) and one goalie alternative.

That left Martin Hanzal, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Eric Staal, Chris Stewart and Ryan White among the unprotected forwards who factored into the postseason lineups and Dumba, Christian Folin and Scandella among the unprotected defensemen. With no-trade clauses in their contracts, veterans Koivu, Parise, Pominville and Suter were mandatory inclusions on the protected list.

“The good news is we can only lose one player. Sometimes at 3 in the morning when I wake up, I remind myself of that: `You can lose only one player. Go back to sleep,”‘ Fletcher said. “But when you’ve drafted and developed a lot of these players, it is a bit frustrating, I’ll admit that.”

The Wild could work out a trade with the Golden Knights to get them to agree not to pick a particular unprotected player, but Vegas general manager George McPhee has made clear he’s in it to win it . Without a first or second-round draft pick this year, the Wild would likely have to part with a player in that scenario, which would mean losing two of them instead of one.

Staal is a first-line center who had 28 goals and 65 points, his highest totals in five years, but at age 32 he’s less attractive. The Wild protected 25-year-old right wing Jason Zucker, a native of Las Vegas, instead.

Dumba, despite a penchant for sloppy and inconsistent play, is just 22 and coming off a career season with 11 goals and 23 assists. He has one of the hardest shots on the team. The 27-year-old Scandella was one of the few bright spots during the first-round loss in the playoffs to the St. Louis Blues.

“I’m pretty confident I know how we’ll look coming out of it,” Fletcher said, “and that’s still a heck of a hockey team.”