Wednesday night, the NHL officially welcomed its 31st team into the league, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights were tasked with picking a player from each team. At minimum they had to take 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goalies.
The Golden Knights took Pierre-Édouard Bellemare with their expansion pick from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Yes, every single Flyers fan was hoping that general manager Ron Hextall would magically get Las Vegas to take anchor Andrew MacDonald off our hands, however, this is the second best scenario for the Flyers.
Last season, Bellemare posted only eight points, four goals and four assists, in 82 games. Bellemare was the worst 5 vs. 5 scorer in the entire NHL.
While it was great to see Bellemare wear the “A” after Mark Streit had been dealt at the deadline, he is just not a great hockey player. It is known that Bellemare is a great locker room presence and maybe that is why Vegas picked him but it wasn’t because of his hockey prowess.
I would expect Jake Voracek or maybe even Ivan Provorov to don the “A” next year on their jersey.
Moving into next season the Flyers will look to replace Bellemare with a younger model, maybe Mike Vechionne or Scott Laughton will get the call for that fourth line spot next year.
The Flyers now have $12 million in cap space to fill out their roster before opening day. Don’t expect any big signings but I would expect some rookies to break into the fold next year.