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Golden Knights: Top Five Trades in Team History



Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Golden Knights General Manager Kell McCrimmon speaks at a press conference in City National Arena

Today we take a walk down memory lane revisiting the top five trades in Vegas Golden Knights history. Trades are evaluated for long-term returns, assets that were given up, and impact on the overall roster. Trades that were part of the expansion draft are not included in the top five.

No. 1: On December 3, 2019, the Golden Knights acquired Chandler Stephenson from the Washington Capitals for a 2021 fifth-round pick. The pick turned out to be Ty Murchison who just finished his second season with Arizona State University.

Stephenson has found a comfortable spot as a first or second-line center for the last three seasons playing alongside Mark Stone.

This ranks as the top trade for the Golden Knights based on the return for what was sent to Washington. Stephenson has paced as a 60-point scorer for the last three seasons while being extremely reliable. All of that scoring and reliability for a fifth-round draft pick. Maybe Murchison goes on to have a nice NHL career, but most likely Vegas will come out way ahead on this deal.

No. 2: On February 25, 2019, the Golden Knights acquired Stone and Tobias Lindberg from the Ottawa Senators for Oscar Lindberg, Erik Brannstrom, and a 2020 second-round pick. The pick turned out to be Egor Sokolov.

Stone was named the first captain in Vegas Golden Knights’ team history. A dominant two-way force, Stone creates a mismatch for opponents when he is on the ice.

Brannstrom has become a reliable defenseman for the Senators who is yet to reach his full potential. Sokolov logged 59 points in 70 games in the AHL last season. Oscar and Tobias Lindberg spent the last four seasons playing in Europe.

For now, Vegas is on the better end of the deal. This trade has the potential to even out some if Sokolov can become a contributor at the NHL level.

No. 3: On July 13, 2022, the Golden Knights traded Max Pacioretty and Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. This was a head-scratcher at the time. Pacioretty was coming off a season filled with injuries. In 39 games, Pacioretty logged 37 points. Coghlan was viewed as a depth piece with potential.

The trade freed up $7.7 million of cap space which allowed the Golden Knights to extend Reilly Smith. There was money left over that helped to extend Keegan Kolesar, Nicolas Roy, and Nicolas Hague.

No. 4: On November 4, 2021, the Golden Knights acquired Jack Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, 2022 first-round pick, and 2023 second-round pick.

The only reason this trade ranks fourth and not higher is because of the fairness of the trade. This was one of those trades that helped improve both teams. The Sabres were able to move on from Eichel and his high salary. The Golden Knights got their first-line center they had been looking for. Tuch had 79 points in 74 games last season and is a core piece of the Sabres’ future.

No.5: On February 26, 2023, the Golden Knights acquired Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues for Zach Dean. The Golden Knights were linked to Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Timo Meier. Barbashev was not nearly as sexy of a name as the other three superstars the Golden Knights were trying to trade for.

Barbashev was the missing link to the Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault line. Many feel the Golden Knights would not have won the Stanley Cup without Barbashev. General Manager Kelly McCrimmon was quick to move on from day-one misfit Smith to extend Barbashev.

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