Hockey hotline host shares Vegas Knights draft strategy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Hockey hotline host shares Vegas Knights draft strategy

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The emblem for the Vegas Golden Knights. (File) The emblem for the Vegas Golden Knights. (File)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

June will be a critical month for the Vegas Golden Knights as the team forms its inaugural roster. 

On June 21, the NHL Expansion Draft is scheduled as part of the NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena where the Golden Knights will choose an available player from the existing clubs. Two days later, the NHL Entry Draft begins in Chicago where some of the core youth of the team will be selected.

Former Buffalo Sabres broadcaster and current host of Hockey Hotline in Las Vegas Brian Blessing said he expects Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee will use the two upcoming drafts to set the stage for years to come, and not to make a splash right away.

“It's a big picture thing and I've said from day one: 'Save as much cap space as you can, go young, get into free agency once your core is built and then be really good in years three, four and beyond for a six, seven, eight year window instead of always hovering around seventh, eighth, ninth,” Blessing said.  "I think the thing you should watch for is McPhee trying to get his mitts on draft picks for next year and they year after because the quality of the draft is going to go through the roof next year and the year after.”

With the hockey buzz in Southern Nevada expected to be off the charts this fall, Blessing said that’s nothing compared to years down the road when the playoffs come into play.

“Come out of the gate and be fun and entertaining but save cap space because that's where you'll be able to tee up other teams like a golf ball in subsequent trade deadlines, next year's entry draft,” Blessing said. “When teams get in salary cap hell, they're gonna be calling George McPhee and he's going to be able to win those trades because he's got cap space.”

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