The Chicago Blackhawks are going to lose someone to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, but the two teams could try to reach a trade agreement that would prevent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from being selected, per The Athletic’s Scott Powers.
This is a possibility that has been speculated about heavily over the past few months, but Powers’ report is the first sign we’ve seen that the Blackhawks could try to keep TVR away from Vegas.
With the Blackhawks expected to follow the 7-3-1 format for protecting players, which allows them to protect only three defensemen, van Riemsdyk is expected to be one of the prime Blackhawks players available to the Golden Knights in the expansion draft. So the two teams would need to agree to a deal to ensure he’s not taken.
Basically, the Blackhawks could agree to send picks and/or prospects to Vegas in exchange for the Golden Knights agreeing not to use their expansion draft pick on van Riemsdyk. Vegas would still be able to pick someone else, but Chicago would be using assets to ensure that player is not TVR.
Given that van Riemsdyk has endeared himself to the Hawks’ coaching staff, played fairly well in 2016-17, and has just a $825,000 cap hit for next season, it’s not hard to see why Chicago wants him back. Vegas might want him for the same reasons, though, which could lead to a trade if the Hawks are determined not to lose him.
We’ll have to see just how badly they want to do that. He’s the top candidate to be selected given Marcus Kruger’s contract, but the Blackhawks may not be ready to let him go so easy.