Wednesday night’s expansion draft could be a launching pad for the Vegas Golden Knights to be one of the most competitive expansion teams in NHL history.

Updated roster projection: June 20, 11:25  a.m. ET

As you read this, Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee might be making a trade in advance of Wednesday’s expansion draft.

It could be an agreement to not select a player who was left unprotected by another team. Or it could be a deal in which McPhee agrees to take a high-priced player in exchange for other players and/or draft picks.


It will all be sorted out by Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, when McPhee’s selections are finalized. But first here is our projection of who the Golden Knights will take from each team.

Anaheim Ducks

D Sami Vatanen: It’s known a deal has been struck between the Ducks and Golden Knights, and it’s likely that it will obligate Vegas not to select Vatanen or Josh Manson. But until we know for sure, Vatanen is the most intriguing available player.

Arizona Coyotes

RW Jamie McGinn. He scored 22 goals two seasons ago and had nine last year for a weak Coyotes offense.

Boston Bruins

D Colin Miller: With many NHL teams looking for defensemen, why not take a 24-year-old whose best years are still in front of him?

Buffalo Sabres

LW William Carrier: A former second-round pick and a third-year pro, unlike teammate Jack Eichel, Carrier is appealing because he’s only 22 and has plenty of upside.

Calgary Flames

RW Alex Chiasson: He’s 25, 6-3 and scored 12 goals last season. He’s a restricted free agent who should be easy to sign. He could be a dependable third-line forward.

Carolina Hurricanes

RW Lee Stempniak: Not many goal scorers are available in this draft, and Stempniak scored 16 for the ‘Canes last season. He’s a consistent secondary scorer. He has one season left on a…