The Vegas Golden Knights might be positioning themselves for another big move before Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
They created some additional salary cap space on Friday evening by sending forward Cody Eakin to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional fourth-round draft pick. That pick will become a third-round pick in 2021 if the Jets make the Stanley Cup Playoffs or if Eakin re-signs with the Jets this offseason.
He will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season.
Eakin, 28, has struggled through a down year in Vegas with just four goals and 10 total points in 41 games. It has been a bit of a disappointment after he scored a career-high 22 goals a year ago for the Golden Knights. He has been with the Golden Knights since they selected him away from the Dallas Stars in the expansion draft.
The real intrigue here is what this might mean for Vegas over the next couple of days.
By sending Eakin to the Jets and retaining no salary they shed the remainder of his $3.85 million salary cap hit for this season and give themselves a little more cushion to work with. They already added Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings for two second-round draft picks this week and could still be in the market for another defenseman before the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline on Monday.
The Golden Knights enter the weekend with a slim lead in the Pacific Division race with 72 points.