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Golden Knights Trade Talk

Trades Set Market Price For Wingers, Can Golden Knights Equal?

The NHL arms race has begun. Two major trades have kickstarted trade season as we approach the deadline on March 3. The New York…

The NHL arms race has begun. Two major trades have kickstarted trade season as we approach the deadline on March 3. The New York Islanders traded for, and then signed Bo Horvat, and just yesterday the New York Rangers added Vladamir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola.

While it seems as if these trades will not have much of an impact on the Vegas Golden Knights given that both players are going from the West to the East, the trades have set the price on the NHL trade market. If general manager Kelly McCrimmon wants to add a forward, (which signs are pointing toward with Mark Stone out), the Golden Knights will likely have to pay a similar price to what the Islanders paid for Horvat and the Rangers Tarasenko.

The Islanders traded Anthony Beauvillier (roster player), Aatu Raty (prospect), and a conditional 2023 1st-round pick for Horvat. The Rangers traded Sammy Blais (roster player), Hunter Skinner (prospect), a conditional 2023 first-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick, for Tarasenko and Mikkola.

Some remaining notable NHL trade chips that could fetch this type of return are Timo Meier, Patrick Kane, Brock Boeser, and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Let's take a look at the Golden Knight's current depth chart and analyze it to see if they have enough to offer in a potential big-swinging deal.

Golden Knights Trade Chips

Cap Space   

Given the unfortunate status of captain Mark Stone, the Golden Knights are in a unique position with cap space. The VGK will likely place Stone on long-term injured reserve to free up an additional $9.5 million in cap space closer to the deadline. That will give the VGK roughly $10.6 to work with, per Puckpedia.

This gives the VGK a big advantage and could allow them to take on the full contracts of guys like Patrick Kane ($10.5 million) or Timo Meier ($6 million) fully so that the other team would not have to retain salary. It would be a risky move, but the Golden Knights are currently in a position where than can pull it off

Draft Picks   

The Golden Knights have six picks in the upcoming 2023 Draft, their own first, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh-round picks as well as a Sabres third-round pick (Jack Eichel trade). They also have all of their picks in the 2024 and 2025 Drafts except for a fourth-rounder in 2024. 

It's just a matter of how many picks McCrimmon will be willing to trade, rather than if they have the picks in the first place.

Roster Player   

In both the trades for Tarasenko and Horvat, the Rangers and Islanders traded roster players to the Blues and Canucks (Sammy Blais and Anthony Beauvillier). Both players were struggling to score consistently and had relatively meaty cap hits, which was likely a big reason why they were included.

Looking at the Golden Knight's current roster and salary cap situation, there really aren't any standouts to forwards who could be traded. Brett Howden and Phil Kessel both make $1.5 million each and could be dealt with as they are pending free agents. But given that Howden has not played much this season, Kessel has a modified no-trade clause and Kessel's recent success, the only motivation to trade them would be for cap space.


The Golden Knights have prospects. The question is whether or not they are flashy enough to fetch a guy like Meier or Kane. 

Other teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils are in on players like Kane and Meier and have far better prospect pools.

Zach Dean, Brendan Brisson, and Lukas Cormier are the flashiest prospects in the Golden Knights system as they are all talented players drafted in the top three rounds of the draft. They have also had their name brands rise in things such as the Frozen Four, the Olympics, and World Juniors

The Golden Knights only have two of their own draft picks on their current roster, Nicolas Hague, and Paul Cotter.


The pieces are there if you dig enough: Stone's unfortunate injury gives the team enough cap space, draft picks, and roster players are there if needed, and while the prospects aren't flashy enough of them could do the trick.

But paying that price might damage the Golden Knights in the long run.