The rumblings over who will be selected in tonight’s expansion draft are coming fast and furious, and though many are highly speculative Jim Toth of TSN 1290 is reporting that Cody Eakin will be the selection from the Dallas Stars. While it’s not clear who Toth’s sources are, Eakin would make sense as the Dallas selection. Not only did he show that he’s capable of putting up 35-40 points before this season but he’s only 26-years old and was drafted by new Vegas GM George McPhee back in Washington.
We projected Eakin as the selection out of Dallas in our mock expansion draft, mostly because of the lack of exciting options available among their exposed players. Eakin is coming off a disastrous season in which he scored just 12 points despite spending substantial time with the Stars’ big guns up front. His faceoffs improved and he could still be a valuable piece, but there is no guarantee he’ll ever get back to the highs earlier in his career.
- Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times thinks that Nikita Gusev may be part of any trade with the Vegas Golden Knights to either protect young defensemen or move Jason Garrison’s hefty contract. Gusev was a linemate of Vadim Shipachyov last season in the KHL and has shown that he can be an incredible offensive performer despite his relatively small stature. The 24-year old still has one year remaining on his contract with SKA St. Petersburg, meaning it would just be a deal of negotiating rights to the Golden Knights. Gusev could also work out a mutual termination or buyout of his KHL contract and come to North America right away, though the interest in that option is unclear.
- Darren Dreger of TSN gave us an update on Evander Kane trade talks amid all the expansion news, reporting that there are still ongoing discussions with teams in “win now” mode. While those teams aren’t clear, there is likely quite a bit of interest in the 28-goal man who may have turned a corner after his recent legal drama. Kane was by all accounts a much more consistent teammate this season, and showed it on the scoresheet with his best season since 2011-12. Amazingly still just 25-years old, Kane has one year left on his contract and could be among next summer’s top free agents with a repeat performance.