Per a report, Oscar Lindberg is the selection by Las Vegas in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
Believe Oscar Lindberg is the guy from NYR. Not sure if that meant NYR made a deal to keep Raanta or not. We shall see. https://t.co/MeirA3y9LU— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 21, 2017
There also seems to be some confusion about whether or not the Rangers cut a deal to keep Las Vegas away from Antti Raanta; despite reports this morning that they had no such intentions.
Lindberg was the right choice for Vegas. As I wrote in my primer for this very moment:
Why he’d be attractive for Las Vegas to select: Lindberg is a center, and you can never have too much center depth in the NHL. Mike made a comment that goalies were like batteries in a storm on the podcast last week in regards to the Antti Raanta situation, but Vegas might choose to look at centers the same way. While there are restrictions to the numbers of raw position players Vegas can take, there’s no limit on how many of those players can be a center or a winger. And while you don’t want to load up a team with seven centers, having depth down the middle is a widely accepted good idea.
Lindberg fits into what Vegas might be looking for perfectly. He’s young, is great in his own end, and has the potential to add offense. While we haven’t seen him in a pure, extended top-nine role, there’s little doubt he could fit there well. Especially on a team where he can be groomed and management can be patient with him. At every level of professional hockey, when given an top-tier opportunity, he has met and even exceeded expectations. There’s no reason to assume he won’t in the NHL. And at the very worst, Lindberg can be a solid fourth line defensive specialist.
The Rangers will need to do a little bit of work to replace Lindberg’s past role as a bottom-six stopgap, but those players are available in spades during the offseason. His upside, however, can’t be as easily replaced.
Still, this isn’t as bad as it could have been.