Get excited Vegas Golden Knights fans, we’re one step closer to being a real NHL team. Wednesday we were treated to an actual schedule with actual opponents ahead of the first season in franchise history. We don’t have uniforms. We have just one player, but we have a preseason schedule that is awaiting approval from the NHL. If you want to get your first peek at the NHL’s 31st franchise, adjust your work schedules appropriately.
Knights to Play Compacted Schedule
As it sits right now, the Golden Knights are proposing to play a compacted preseason schedule consisting of seven games. Three of those will be played at home, four will be played away from T-Mobile Arena. A pair of those games will be played against the Colorado Avalanche. The other five games on the preseason slate will pit Knights against Pacific Division opponents.
September 17 at Vancouver
September 19 at Colorado
September 21 at San Jose
September 24 at Anaheim
September 26 vs. Los Angeles
September 28 vs. Colorado
October 1 vs. San Jose
This proposed schedule still requires approval from the league office. The 2017-18 NHL regular season will get underway a week after the final preseason game against San Jose. We won’t know what that schedule will look like until late June. A week before the opener against Vancouver the Knights will play in two rookie scrimmages. Those will be held on September 12 and 13 at the practice facility of the Los Angeles Kings.
One critical piece to approving next season’s preseason schedule was getting the NHL games to be played in China ironed out. With it settled that the Canucks and Kings will play Sept. 21 in Shanghai and Sept. 23 in Beijing alternate dates were utilized for those two teams to play their exhibition games against Vegas.
Knights Will Have Busy Summer
That’s a long way off, though. There’s still plenty to do before Vegas drops the puck against the Canucks in September. Chiefly, general manager George McPhee needs to get some players for head coach Gerard Gallant. The team roster totals one with the signing of 21-year-old Reid Duke in March.
Vegas will fill out the bulk of its inaugural roster on June 21 courtesy of the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. That night the Knights will choose one player left unprotected from each NHL team. Last week the league announced that the event will be held in conjunction with the 2017 NHL Awards show at T-Mobile Arena.
Later that week, Vegas will turn its attention to the NHL Entry Draft in Chicago. The Golden Knights will learn their draft position on April 29. They are guaranteed to pick no worse than sixth in the first round of the draft and will have the number three position for each subsequent round. The Knights have a 10.3 percent chance of winning the draft lottery and being awarded the first overall pick.
Players who are selected in the draft, as well as rookie free agents, will participate in a rookie development camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center. That will be held June 27 through July 1.