Kraken Should Try to Pillage Golden Knights Roster After Eichel Trade

The Golden Knights trade for Jack Eichel should be seen as an opportunity for the Kraken. Vegas will run into cap trouble if they activate all their players from injured reserve before the playoffs. With all players activated, they would be around $7 million over the cap based on the projected roster. Next year is also a problem as they only have a projected $3.6 million available based on current cap projections. With that in mind, here are five players Seattle should be looking at from the Vegas roster that could help improve their own roster.

Jonathan Marchessault

Jonathan Marchessault is the franchise leader in points with 231 in 290 games but may be available for the right price based on his cap hit. He is signed for another two years after this season and carries a $5 million cap hit. A player who has shown he can deliver time and time again, he would look great on Yanni Gourde’s left side.

Jonathan Marchessault Vegas Golden Knights
Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas Golden Knights (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although Marchessault is having a slow start to the season, he is still producing at a top-six level. He is tied for the team lead in goals and ranks second in points amongst Vegas players. His defensive play has also seen an uptick this season, as he is already credited with seven takeaways through his first ten games. Overall, he would be a great addition as, if added to the Kraken roster, he could enhance their top-six into one of the most balanced in the league.

Evgenii Dadonov

Evgenii Dadonov is a decent player who currently carries a $5 million cap hit. He may not put up 70 points again like in 2018-19, but he can still contribute at a middle-six pace. When all the Golden Knight players return, he will be pushed to a third-line role, and Vegas will be looking to dump his $5 million cap hit so they can become cap compliant.

Through the first 10 games, Dadonov has his worst shooting percentage in his career and only has registered four points. He has struggled due to inconsistent linemates and has had three different centers through 10 games. Despite the slow start, this is a player the Kraken should be keeping tabs on. He is signed through next season as well, which could lead to Seattle getting a steal of a deal if they acquire him.

Related: Sabres Send Eichel to Golden Knights in Blockbuster Trade

William Carrier

William Carrier would be a great addition to the third or fourth line in Seattle. He is defensively responsible, can play the physical brand the Kraken have shown so far, and only carries a $1.4 million cap hit for two more seasons after this. The cost will not be too high on a player like this, and teams like Seattle should be lining up to acquire him.

Vegas Golden Knights William Carrier Colorado Avalanche Philipp Grubauer
Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier attempts to shoot against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (AP Photo/John Locher)

Vegas will want to keep Carrier as he has been a valuable piece of their team since the 2017-18 season; for a cap-strapped team, paying $1.4 million for a fourth-line winger is problematic. With players like Pavel Dorofeyev, Zach Dean, and Brandon Brisson all expected to make a push to make the team next season, the fact that they all will be making under $1 million could make Carrier expendable. He would fit perfectly into Seattle’s system and have suitors from around the league at the trade deadline.

Nicholas Roy

Nicholas Roy will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and will be in line for a raise from his $750,000 salary. A forward who has fine-tuned his game this season, Kraken general manager Ron Francis could be keen to re-acquire the player he drafted back in 2015. The price may not be cheap, but he may be expendable based on his contract demands.

Nicolas Roy Vegas Golden Knights
Nicolas Roy, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

This season, Roy has seen time on Vegas’s first line in place of William Karlsson. He has five points in eight games and has been used on special teams as well. A player with great size who is decent in the faceoff circle, he projects as a third-line center that can be used up the lineup if needed. As mentioned, the Golden Knights do like him and may be willing to part with other pieces before they trade Roy; however, Seattle should still check in on this player as he would help solidify their center depth for the future.

Chandler Stephenson

If the Golden Knights want to keep Reilly Smith this offseason, it may come at the cost of Chandler Stephenson. With the addition of Eichel and cap constraints, the team leader in points may need to be moved to keep the team cap compliant. His cap hit of $2.750 million for the next two seasons isn’t that high but could be the difference between signing their star winger or losing him for nothing.

Chandler Stephenson Vegas Golden Knights
Chandler Stephenson, Vegas Golden Knights (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Based on projected lineups, there may not be room for Stephenson next season anyways. He most likely won’t be playing with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty anymore and could be pushed all the way down to the third or fourth line center spots depending on the progression of Nolan Patrick and Nicolas Roy. In Seattle, however, he would be a perfect fit on the second line alongside Joonas Donskoi and Alexander Wennberg. If Vegas gets desperate, it could lead to a discounted trade that the Kraken needs to be in.

Time For Ron Francis to Make a Deal

Francis should be calling the Golden Knights and negotiating some trades, whether at the trade deadline or in the offseason. Vegas does not have the cap to keep this team together for much longer. Now is the time for the Kraken to strike and improve their team by taking advantage of a division rival.

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