Detroit — The NHL expansion draft stung the Red Wings — just not in the way many felt it would.
The expansion Vegas Golden Knights picked forward Tomas Nosek in the expansion draft Wednesday during the NHL Awards Show.
Nosek was chosen by the expansion team over NHL regulars such as goalie Petr Mrazek, defenseman Xavier Ouellet, and forward Riley Sheahan — three players largely being pegged as potential expansion picks by the Golden Knights.
But, instead, Vegas went after arguably one of the Red Wings’ top minor-league prospects, Nosek, who was expected to graduate to the NHL next season.
Nosek (6-foot-2, 210-pounds) played in 11 games with the Red Wings late last season, scored his first NHL goal, with no assists, and posted a minus-1 plus-minus rating.
Having improved his skating, and being more aggressive around the net, Nosek looked much more confident and comfortable than in a previous, short NHL stint.
In Grand Rapids last season, Nosek had a good regular season with 15 goals and 26 assists (41 points) in 51 games.
But it was the in the playoffs that Nosek was especially impressive, and might have influenced the Golden Knights’ decision.
Nosek was one of the Griffins’ best players on their way to a Calder Cup, leading the team with 22 points (10 goals, and 12 assists) in 19 games, including a team-leading five power-play goals.
Losing Nosek will likely force the Red Wings to search for a fourth-line forward in trade or free agency.
The Red Wings also still have a glut of goalies, with Mrazek going unclaimed by Vegas.
Mrazek, Jimmy Howard and Jared Coreau all remain on the roster, with a glut of goalies available throughout the league decreasing the chances of a trade.
Losing Nosek also does little to help the Red Wings’ salary-cap situation.
The Red Wings have 17 players (out of a 23-man roster) signed for roughly $67.1 million.
The NHL salary cap will be $75 million — with restricted free agents Tomas Tatar, Andreas Athanasiou and Ouellet needing new contracts.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Here are the 30 players selected by Vegas in the expansion draft:
Arizona Coyotes: Teemu Pulkkinen
Buffalo Sabres: William Carrier
Detroit Red Wings: Tomas Nosek
Dallas Stars: Cody Eakin
Florida Panthers: Jonathan Marchessault
Carolina Hurricanes: Connor Brickley
Winnipeg Jets: Chris Thorburn
Philadelphia Flyers: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Nashville Predators: James Neal
Toronto Maple Leafs: Brendan Leipsic
St. Louis Blues: David Perron
New York Rangers: Oscar Lindberg
Minnesota Wild: Erik Haula
Columbus Blue Jackets: William Karlsson
Vancouver Canucks: Luca Sbisa
New Jersey Devils: Jon Merrill
Los Angeles Kings: Brayden McNabb
Tampa Bay Lightning: Jason Garrison
Calgary Flames: Deryk Engelland
Boston Bruins: Colin Miller
Ottawa Senators: Marc Methot
San Jose Sharks: David Schlemko
Edmonton Oilers: Griffin Reinhart
Montreal Canadiens: Alexei Emelin
Chicago Blackhawks: Trevor van Riemsdyk
Anaheim Ducks: Clayton Stoner
Washington Capitals: Nate Schmidt
Colorado Avalanche: Calvin Pickard
New York Islanders: Jean-Francois Berube
Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury