One player won’t be around to enjoy the remainder of the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural season and the team got involved in its first NHL Trade Deadline. While minor, the Knights traded forward Brendan Leipsic to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenceman Philip Holm, the teams announced on Monday.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 26, 2018
Leipsic was part of the Knights, as he was the team’s pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs during the expansion draft this past offseason. While he had only played six games with the Leafs during the 2015-16 season, the 23-year-old from Winnipeg has seen 44 games this season with the Knights.
Over that span he’s collected 2 goals and 13 points for the Knights, helping them to a surprising result thus far – first in the Pacific Division through 61 games.
A third-round pick in 2012 (89th overall) by the Nashville Predators, Leipsic is averaging just under 12 minutes per game this season and has seen some time on the power player. While he is a small player, he does have the ability to use his speed and skill to control the pace of play when he has the puck on his stick.
A cheap, depth forward, he’s in the first year of a two-year deal he signed with the Golden Knights prior to this season – a deal that was worth $1.3 million and that carries an annual average value (AAV) of $650,000.
Calling Vegas Holm
On the other side of the deal, the Knights have acquired defensive prospect Holm. At six-foot-one and just under 200 pounds, the native of Stockholm, Sweden, is 26 years of age and has seen just one game in his NHL career.
While he hasn’t seen a lot of time at the NHL level yet – just 15 minutes in his debut this season – Canucks’ GM Jim Benning does praise the play of the big-bodied defenceman.
“He has good mobility to transition the puck, but he’s not a point producer,” said Benning back in May, according the Las Vegas Sun. “He’s the new-style defenceman. He’s good defensively and on his positioning, and he can get back to rush the puck or make that first pass.”
Philip Holm currently makes $925,000 and is waiver exempt. He is an RFA with arbitration rights this offseason. Thus, VGK maintains his rights for at least one more year beyond this one.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) February 26, 2018
Holm has put up some significant numbers for the AHL’s Utica Comets so far this season. And it’s enough to show off his offensive side – certainly part of the reason the Knights were interested in the big Swede.
In 42 games with the Comets this year he had 11 goals and 29 points to go along with 28 penalty minutes.
Holm was signed to a one-year entry-level contract worth $925,000 and will become an RFA at the end of the season. Chances are, if the Knights are interested in re-signing the defenceman, that they will be able to get him on another short-term deal with a similar salary to what he’s making this season.