Islanders: Three reasons Mathew Barzal won’t be drafted in Seattle expansion
Seattle Won’t Have the Assets
On the day of the expansion draft, Vegas will have no assets aside from draft picks given to them. That first-round pick in 2021, will be its most valuable asset. That pick will, at worst, be the sixth overall pick.
It’s worth noting that Vegas was given 48 hours prior to the expansion draft to sign un-protected free agents (RFA and UFA). A period where they didn’t sign a single player. I would expect the same to happen with Seattle.
In 2017, the Golden Knights were able to start signing players as of March 1. Perfect timing to start signing UFAs not currently in the NHL, like those out of the college ranks.
Jimmy Vesey was the most coveted College UFA in years after he chose not to sign with the Nashville Predators. He’s in Buffalo now playing third-line minutes. Just like any prospect they aren’t sure things in the NHL.
Of the players that could be free agents none particularly stound out as sure-fire top tier players. The two players that stand out, to me at least, are Nashville’s David Farrance (Boston University) and the Rangers sixth-round pick Morgan Barron (Cornell).
Farrance is an offensive-defenseman making gains year over year with B.U. and could be a nice puck mover on the blue line. Morgan Barron is a center putting up over a point per game in his junior season.
Both are great prospects but none are anywhere near the level it would take to justify moving a superstar player like Barzal.
I focused on collegiate prospects, but the same story goes for players at the major junior level. Like Vegas did with Reid Duke of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. The Golden Knights signed him to a three-year ELC on March 6, 2017, five days after they could start signing players.
The overaged player who was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild still hasn’t cracked the NHL. He’s playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.
The only assets the Seattle franchise is going to have to offer the New York Islanders will be picks and prospects. That’s two things that the Islanders just don’t need.