The Vegas Golden Knights and New York Islanders have a deal in place that would see Vegas receiving New York’s first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft to stay clear of choosing any unprotected skater in the Expansion Draft that the Islanders want to keep, according to both TSN and Newsday.
The deal will also reportedly include Mikhail Grabovski.
If Grabovski is in fact dealt, it would indicate he may be able to return to the ice next season. He missed the entire 2016-17 year due to post-concussion syndrome.
The Golden Knights are entering their inaugural season in 2017-18, needing to make a roster from scratch. During the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday night, they will select one player from each of the other 30 teams in the league to make up their first roster.
Vegas will need at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goalies, with each of the other teams able to protect either seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie, or eight overall skaters and a goalie.
Teams have reached out to Vegas to convince them to not choose specific players that they left unprotected, offering additional draft picks.
With the Columbus Blue Jackets having already offered their first-round pick (24th overall), Vegas could now add the 15th overall pick from the Islanders, in addition to the No. 6 overall pick they already owned by virtue of the draft lottery. The team will subsequently select third in every preceding round.
Vegas’ final roster will be made on Wednesday night during the Expansion Draft, before the NHL Draft takes center stage on Friday.