In a city that does not lack brilliance, the Golden Knights have been able to get their hands on what will possibly be their jewel, they hope. Las Vegas is the next step for goaltender Marc-André Fleury, who will defend the net of the newest National League team.
The Knights have made Fleury their star choice for their first season, starting in October.
Fleury helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cups. Born in Sorel-Tracy, the 32-year-old was the first overall pick in the 2003 draft. He showed a record of 18-10-7 and an average of 3.02 last season. In the series, he had a return of 9-4-2 and an average of 2.56. He had eventually been supplanted by Matt Murray in front of the Penguins net.
The Quebecker was present at the T-Mobile Arena, where the crowd warmly welcomed his selection and his arrival on stage, with the Golden Knights sweater.
The Knights also struck a big blow by fetching James Neal, who helped the Predators to reach the Stanley Cup final against Pittsburgh this year. After a season of 23 goals and 41 points, he added six goals and three assists in the playoffs. The 29-year-old Ontarian signed 20 or more goals in each of his nine NHL campaigns.
“I think we’ve assembled an excellent club by starting in front of the net,” said Bill Foley, the CEO of the Golden Knigts. “I think the fans really love the team, our exchanges and the draft picks we have.”
Earlier in the evening, the Knights made Calvin Pickard, who played with the Colorado Avalanche, the very first player in their history. Last season, the 25-year-old goalkeeper showed a record of 15-31-2 and an average of 2.98.
Three Quebec strikers were chosen: William Carrier of Montreal, formerly Sabers, Jonathan Marchessault of Quebec City, formerly of the Panthers, and David Perron of Sherbrooke, who wore the colors of the Blues.
In his first season with the Florida Panthers, his first NHL overall, in 2016-2017, Marchessault surprised by scoring 30 goals and 21 assists in 75 games. Under contract for another season, the 26-year-old striker must receive $ 750,000 in 2017-2018, a bargain according to NHL standards.
The Cap-Rouge native will meet in Las Vegas with his teammate Reilly Smith, whom the Panthers have passed on to the Golden Knights with a 4th round pick. Joined by the Sun at the end of the evening, Marchessault preferred to agree an evening to digest the news with his family before commenting on his selection.
In a city that does not lack brilliance, the Golden Knights were able to put the … – image 2.0
Perron played all the Blues games last season, scoring 18 goals and 46 points. In 10 seasons in the Bettman circuit, he has 159 goals and 378 points.
As for Carrier, he played 41 games with the Sabers, scoring five goals and eight points. In the QMJHL, the 22-year-old was particularly impressed with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He made his NHL debut on November 5th.
The Knights also acquired striker Reilly Smith of the Panthers, who scored 15 goals and 37 points last season. They gave up a fourth-round pick in 2018.
It was the first draft of expansion in 17 years in the National League.