The Vegas Golden Knights selected four Americans in the 2017 National Hockey League Expansion Draft on Wednesday. They are defenseman Jon Merrill of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, center Connor Brickley of Everett, Massachusetts, defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk of Middletown, New Jersey and defenseman Nate Schmidt of St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Merrill was selected from the New Jersey Devils; Brickley from the Carolina Hurricanes; Van Riemsdyk from the Chicago Blackhawks; and Schmidt was selected from the Washington Capitals. However Van Riemsdyk's time in Las Vegas was short lived, as he was traded from the Golden Knights to the Hurricanes on Thursday, along with a seventh round pick in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft, in exchange for a second round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Of the three remaining Americans on the Golden Knights squad, Schmidt had the most impressive season in 2016-17. The fourth year Capitals blueliner had three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 60 games. He also was a very impressive +22. Unfortunately for Schmidt, he will expect to see a significant dip in his plus/minus totals, as it will take some time for the Golden Knights to be contenders in the Western Conference. Merrill meanwhile had one goal and five assists for six points, while Brickley played for the Charlotte Checkers in the American Hockey League.