Vegas Golden Knights Hit Jackpot in Draft, but 200-1 to Win Cup
Posted on: June 26, 2017, 12:00h.
Last updated on: June 26, 2017, 10:21h.
The newest NHL team finally has picked their squad and observers believe they had a successful draft, but don’t go planning a Stanley Cup parade for the Vegas Golden Knights just yet.
The team remains a huge underdog to win hockey’s coveted trophy, and there is still a long ways to go to be consistent enough to compete with teams like the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Before Wednesday’s expansion draft, where the organization was able to select a player from the other 30 clubs, Vegas was a 200-1 selection to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. After that process, and the regular draft, the needle hasn’t moved and they are at the same odds.
The favorites to win next year’s title are the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are the defending champions. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers are all at 10-1.
No expansion team has ever made the playoffs, much less win the Stanley Cup, in its first year. Of the nine newest teams only two have won the title. It took Anaheim 13 years to do it and Tampa Bay 10 years.
Solid Team Constructed
The rules were tweaked a bit to favor the new team in the expansion draft and they definitely benefitted. General Manager George McPhee was able to snag Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has won three Stanley Cup Trophies and gives the team, not only a recognizable face, but a quality net minder.
When he was selected, the crowd at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena, where the proceedings were held, gave him a standing ovation.
McPhee was also able to get quality scorers, like James Neal from Nashville and David Perron from St. Louis. They also procured Florida’s Johnathan Marchessault and Cody Eakin from Dallas.
Where they really scored was on defense. Marc Methot was grabbed from Ottawa and Nate Schmidt from Washington. Those two along with Deryk Engelland from Calgary and Brayden McNabb from Los Angeles, form a solid defense corps that should make Fleury’s job a bit easier.
“We’re certainly delighted with the way it went,” McPhee said.
History Against Knights
Expansion teams, however, have struggled in their first season. Of the nine previous new additions, only two, Anaheim and Florida, won more than 30 games. The last two expansion teams, Columbus and Minnesota, won 28 and 25 games, respectively.
The sportsbooks believe Las Vegas will fail to win 30 games. They set the over and under on victories at 24.5 and were initially given 7-1 odds, though after the drafts, it has been lowered to 6-1.
Making that total might be possible. The team plays in the Western Conference and several squads they face are not as competitive as the teams in the east. Another possibility if making the playoffs and oddsmakers have made them a 6-1 choice of doing that.
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