The Vegas Golden Knights are set to become the thirty-first team in the NHL for the upcoming season. On Thursday night, their roster doubled in size. The Golden Knights signed KHL superstar Vadim Shipachyov to a two-year contract worth an annual average of $4.5 million. Shipachyov a center, has been rumored to pack his bags for North America for the past two seasons tallied a career high in goals(26), assists(50), and of course points(76). Las Vegas general manager had this to say about Shipachyov, “Vadim is a highly skilled playmaker who has had an impressive career in the Kontinental Hockey League.” It’s likely he will be a top six forward for the Golden Knights for their inaugural season. Shipachyov joins forward Reid Duke as the first two players signed by the franchise.
Evgeni Dadonov is another name to watch out for. Multiple outlets have reported that the Golden knights are in hot pursuit of the KHL star and former teammate of Vadim Shipachyov. Dadonov, like Shipachyov set career highs in goals(30), assists(36), and points(66) in the KHL last season. Dadonov and Shipachyov are a deadly combination and would make quite the impact for the Golden Knights next season. During the 2016 World Championships, Dadonov, Shipachyov, and Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin were the most lethal line there. It’s no secret that general manager George McPhee likes Russians. We saw that while he was in Washington and we’re seeing it now in Vegas.
With the Expansion Draft about a month and a half away, look for George McPhee to be wheeling and dealing to make the Golden Knights a real contender right out of the gate. That’s all for now, but stay tuned as I’ll be putting out a 2017 mock draft as well as a projection for what the Vegas Golden Knights will look like after the expansion draft.