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Golden Knights acquire Evgenii Dadonov from Senators

Vegas sends a 2022 third-round pick and Nick Holden to Ottawa.

Winnipeg Jets v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Minutes before free agency opens for the new NHL season, the Golden Knights have swung a trade for a goal scorer, acquiring Evgenii Dadonov from the Ottawa Senators.

Vegas is acquiring Dadonov from Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Nick Holden and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft (originally from Vancouver in the trade for Nate Schmidt).

Dadonov, 32, has two years remaining at a cap hit of $5 million. He signed a three-year, $15 million deal with Ottawa last offseason after three consecutive seasons of at least 25 goals with the Florida Panthers. He had 13 goals and 20 points in 55 games for the rebuilding Senators.

“He really fit the bill for us,” said general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “He was a player that we had a lot of regard for. There were some good forwards available in free agency that we liked that we would’ve turned to had we not completed the trade with Ottawa. Our priority was this player and we were happy to add him. I think he’s going to fit in very well.”

McCrimmon hinted that the Golden Knights tried to acquire Dadonov at last season’s trade deadline, but his cap hit would not have made it work. Hence why they circled on Mattias Janmark, who they re-signed to a one-year deal at $2 million on Wednesday.

“I think this is the best top-nine forwards our organization has had, and I think this is the best group of forwards collectively our team has had,” McCrimmon said. “A real positive addition to our team this morning.”

The move puts the Golden Knights at around $2.5 million in salary-cap space with a looming deal coming for Alec Martinez at around $5.25 million. Safe to say another deal is coming, but where exactly is the question.

Moving Holden clears $1.2 million, so Vegas is retaining $3.8 million in the deal.

Holden was a consummate professional with Vegas. The defenseman was placed on waivers prior to last season, but did become a rotational piece as the sixth defenseman during the Golden Knights playoff run.