Pulkkinen loss inconsequential, but what’s next for Coyotes?
Who had Vegas taking Coyotes forward Teemu Pulkkinen in a mock NHL Expansion Draft? That’s right, nobody, which speaks both to the value of mock drafts and the possibility that Coyotes GM John Chayka has something else in the works.
Maybe the Golden Knights didn’t like those two years and $6.67 million left on wing Jamie McGinn’s contract. Maybe GM George McPhee didn’t like the idea of selecting 32-year-old center Brad Richardson coming off a horrific leg injury. Maybe they didn’t think defenseman Kevin Connauton would add much to their blue line. Maybe the pickings for goalies were so rich that goalie Louis Domingue didn’t factor into their plans.
Whatever the logic, losing Pulkkinen has zero impact on the Coyotes’ roster.
He was a body acquired to fill out the roster after the Martin Hanzal trade. He served his purpose and was set to become a restricted free agent the team would not have re-signed.
The bigger question is, what does Chayka have in store for Thursday?
Don’t expect any announcements right after the trade freeze ends at 5 a.m., Arizona time — at least not immediately, but the Coyotes still need a No. 1 goalie. They still need help on the right side of their roster — both on defense and at right wing — and they would still like to add a top-six center like, perhaps, the New York Rangers’ Derek Stepan.
As the roster stands right now, however, the Coyotes are fine at left wing with McGinn, Max Domi, Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse and Jordan Martinook (and Tobias Rieder, who may play the right side).
They get to keep Richardson for a potential depth center role, and they get to keep Domingue for a continued backup role unless they sign Chad Johnson and find another goalie.
Shane Doan fallout aside, let’s wait to see what Chayka does over the next three days before judging the Coyotes’ roster. That will provide a complete picture and a fully-armed perspective.
List of Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft selections
Teemu Pulkkinen (Arizona Coyotes)
William Carrier (Buffalo Sabres)
Tomas Nosek (Detroit Red Wings)
Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars)
Jonathan Marchessault (Florida Panthers)
Reilly Smith (via trade, Florida Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Carolina Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Winnipeg Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Philadelphia Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (via trade, Tampa Bay Lightning)
Mikhail Grabovski (via trade, New York Islanders)
James Neal (Nashville Predators)
Brendan Leipsic (Toronto Maple Leafs)
David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (New York Rangers)
Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild)
Alex Tuch (via trade, Minnesota Wild)
William Karlsson (Columbus Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (via trade, Columbus Blue Jackets)
Luca Sbisa (Vancouver Canucks)
Jon Merrill (New Jersey Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Los Angeles Kings)
Jason Garrison (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jake Bischoff (via trade, New York Islanders)
Deryk Engelland (Calgary Flames)
Colin Miller (Boston Bruins)
Marc Methot (Ottawa Senators)
David Schlemko (San Jose Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Anaheim Ducks)
Shea Theodore (via trade, Anaheim Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals)
Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
J-F Berube (New York Islanders)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)