The Vegas Golden Knights have agreed to a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets that would send Columbus’ No. 24 pick in Friday’s NHL Draft to Vegas, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
The trade won’t be announced until Wednesday and the framework has been in place for weeks, according to the report.
Columbus, in fear of losing forwards Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson, or goalie Joonas Korpisalo, is willing to send its first-round pick and a prospect to the Golden Knights if they select Matt Calvert, William Karlsson or defenseman Ryan Murray in the expansion draft.
Forward David Clarkson and his $5.25 million contract may also be included in the deal, according to Portzline.
TSN insider Pierre LeBrun reported Saturday that one NHL general manager believed Vegas may have enough deals in place to secure three first-round picks before Friday’s draft, so this could be one of those first dominoes to drop. The Blue Jackets already traded their second-round pick to Vancouver after hiring coach John Tortorella two seasons ago and would not pick until the third round if this deal goes through.
If this is any indication of Vegas’ plans for the coming week, this is a huge get for general manager George McPhee. The Golden Knights are in an enviable position to acquire more young talent. Vegas obviously doesn’t need to give into this type of bargaining, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.