Welcome, to the NHL Expansion Draft, 2017!

Tonight was finally the night!

After a year of waiting and speculation, the Las Vegas Golden Knights revealed their inaugural season roster.

On the night where NHL stars were presented with awards for their hard work last season, it is the new guys who stole the show.

Every year, the NHL makes a big deal out of the Awards Ceremony, but this year, that red carpet may as well have been gold because all the hype was regarding the big announcement of the Golden Knights' roster.

Throughout the Awards Ceremony, there were periodic points where portions of the Golden Knights' roster were revealed.

Vegas reveals roster

The big names for Vegas turned out to be: James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, and David Perron on offense, while they loaded up with Dmen, lead by Marc Methot, Trevor Van Riemsdyk, and David Schlemko. And, of course, the player everybody had been talking about, their number one goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury.

A quick analysis of the Vegas roster leads to the conclusion that this will be a tough grinding team that has tremendous depth on the blue line and a few nice pieces up front.

They don't have the speed that is a trademark of today's NHL, and they don't have the superstar power that most Stanley Cup champions require, but this is a team that can make both the NHL and the city of Las Vegas proud.

Don't be surprised if this team competes for a playoff berth in year one, as they will be stationed in the Pacific Division, where only the Ducks and Oilers are clearly better.

My prediction: 40-32-10 (90 points)

As for the Awards

Here's a quick rundown:

  • Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron (joins Boston legend Bob Gainey as the only two players to win the award four times.)
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy: Brent Burns
  • King Clancy - Nick Foligno
  • NHL Foundation Player Award - Travis Hamonic
  • Mark Messier Leadership Award - Nick Foligno
  • Calder Memorial Trophy - Auston Matthews
  • General Manager of the Year Award - David Poile
  • Jack Adams Award - John Tortorella ("Thank you to the Broadcaster's Association, I'm not sure I'd be up here if it was up to the media.")
  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - Craig Anderson
  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Johnny Gaudreau
  • Honored - Bryan Bickell ($20,000 donation from NHL/NHLPA for Bryan Bickell Foundation)
  • Vezina Trophy - Sergei Bobrovsky
  • Hart Trophy - Connor McDavid
  • Overall, a great night for the NHL, their players, and the hockey world.

Opening Day is right around the corner as the season kicks off on October 4th.

Let's not forget; the NHL Entry Draft takes place this Friday and Saturday in Chicago at the United Center and Free Agency begins July 1st.

Stay tuned!