When Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee began the expansion draft process on June 18, he might have been overwhelmed by the possibilities. There were so many different directions he could have gone in to craft an identity for the NHL's newest team, each one with its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses.
In the end, McPhee went all-in for a model that builds toward the future. He accumulated a lot of picks and prospects in exchange for passing on some quality young players, and accepting and/or selecting several older players on pricey contracts.
It might be hard to argue against a strategy that allows for so many future opportunities, but a closer look at the numbers highlights the opportunity he had to craft one of the league's better blue lines, making the Golden Knights a potential playoff team in their inaugural season.
As it stands, the numbers confirm the Golden Knights might not be very competitive out of the gate.
Where exactly are they projected to land in the standings, and what could McPhee & Co. have done differently to optimize this singular opportunity?